Whitehall News

Meidl shaped city's parks department

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Whitehall leaders recall Gary J. Meidl as a devoted family man who leaves a legacy as a coach and civil servant.

Meidl died suddenly Aug. 5 at the age of 80.

"He was a pioneer of our city (and) our parks and recreation department exists as it does today because of him," Councilman Wes Kantor said.

Meidl recently stepped down as president of the Whitehall Parks and Recreation Commission and coached a generation of Whitehall children in the Whitehall Youth Sports organization and its forerunner, the Whitehall Boys' Baseball Association.

"What he did for our city is second to none," said Kantor, who recalled a conversation with Meidl at the city's Music in the Park concert series about six weeks ago.

"He thanked me for my service to the city and to parks and recreation, and there could be no greater compliment coming from him."

Current Parks and Recreation Commission member Greg Thurman also spoke of Meidl's fingerprint on the city's recreation department.

"Gary was a great man. He took his civic duties seriously (and always gave) 110 percent," Thurman said.

Thurman described Meidl as a leader by example who never held his cards close to his chest.

"You always knew where he stood," he said. "Gary stayed involved to the end and he truly cared for the city. I appreciate all that Gary did for the city over the years."

A native of Wisconsin, Meidl is survived by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis; children, Paula, Mark and Michelle; and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Gary Meidl Jr.; two sisters, Evelyn and Lucille; and a brother, Carl.

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