Visitation: Sunday, April 8, 2018 from 12:00 P.M.to 2:00 P.M. at the Schipper Funeral Home
Funeral: Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. from the Schipper Funeral Home
Forrest Phillip Meek, 87, passed lovingly into the arms of his Lord and Savior on Saturday March 31, 2018 at his home in Peoria, AZ. He was surrounded by family members at the time of his passing. Forrest is the husband of Elizabeth (Betty/Beth) Faye Williams of Colon, MI. They were married 67 years to the day at his time of death.
Forrest Phillip (Phil) Meek was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on June 28, 1930, the first of seven children born to Jack Wayne and Alma LaMoyne (Piatt) Meek. He attended several schools in the Coldwater area, graduating from Coldwater High School in 1948. Forrest joined the Cub Scouts in 1941 and was awarded the Eagle Badge in 1945. He enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard in January of 1948. After high school he moved back to Battle Creek where he was employed on the night shift by the Kellogg Co. This allowed him to attend Argubright Business College during the day. About this time, he transferred to the Air Guard, joining the 172nd Fighter Squadron. Shortly after completing business college in October 1950, he began working full time as a clerk-typist as an Air Guard technician. The unit was activated on February 1, 1951 during the Korean War at which time he had achieved the rank of sergeant.
On March 31, 1951, he married Elizabeth (Betty/Beth) Faye Williams from Colon, Michigan. He reenlisted in October 1952 at the grade of Staff Sargent. During his enlisted service, he was a Personnel Technician at Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, MI, Selfridge AFB, Mt Clemens, MI and Misawa Air Base, Japan. He returned from overseas to attend Officer’s Candidate School, entering on March 31, 1957 – the sixth anniversary of their marriage.
After OCS, he attended the Personnel Officer Course at Lackland AFB, graduating in December 1957. During the next eleven years he served as an adjutant and personnel officer in AACS and later, Air Force Communications Command at Lowry AFB, Colorado, Chanute AFB, IL, Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam, and Scott AFB, IL. He was the second person assigned to the 1964th Communications Group in Vietnam where he served as Chief of Administration and Personnel and HQ Squadron Commander. He was also the first full-time personnel officer in Vietnam having all unit personnel records. The unit was over 600 strong with six detachments and two operating locations when he left in 1963.
At HQ Communications Service, he served in officer records and enlisted assignments. In August 1968, having attained the grade of Major, he was assigned to the HQ USAF Inspector General Office at Norton AFB, Calif where he was a personnel inspector for the next three years. He then attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia where he matriculated in January 1972. He was then assigned to HQ MAC, where he was in charge of assignments for all non-flying officers for the command.
In October 1973, he was selected for assignment to HQ USAF at the Pentagon where he was chief of the enlisted programs branch for the Air Force. He was responsible for the total enlisted force, ensuring the annual budget was not exceeded. The assignment included setting the recruiting quota for the year, determining the number of promotions, calculating losses for various reasons and submitting information for budget purposes. He was promoted to Lt. Colonel in February 1974 and retired from the Pentagon in August 1977.
During his military service, he attended SOS, Armed Forces Staff College, acquired a BS degree in Economics from SIU at Edwardsville, IL and completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces by correspondence. He is considered a Korean War Veteran, a Vietnam War Veteran and a Cold War Veteran. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with a bronze star, The Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze stars, The Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal with two loops, along with seven additional service ribbons.
After retirement from the Air Force he purchased a franchise in International Minute Press in Phoenix, AZ, the first in the city. He and Beth opened the shop on Aug 17, 1977 and employed from three to five people in sales and production. The business served numerous clients throughout the Phoenix area and often shipped printed products throughout Arizona. The business prospered and eventually acquired three presses and supporting computers and bindery equipment. Forrest and Beth were active members and officers in the Phoenix Club of Printing House Craftsman. They sold the business in Feb 1997 and went into full-time retirement.
During his business ownership he was active in The Exchange Club of Phoenix and the Kiwanis Club. Through Kiwanis, he was a club director and active in numerous community events.
Forrest and Beth were long-time members of the Mountain View Baptist Church (now known as Arcadia Gospel Fellowship) in Phoenix, AZ.
Forrest is survived by his wife of 67 years, Elizabeth, son Phillip (Tracy) Meek of Bellevue, IA, daughter Valerie (Mike) Pollock of Leonard, TX, daughter Susan (Adam) Mehlhaff of Peoria, AZ, 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, brother George of Burr Oak, MI, brother Clinton (Kay) of Sturgis MI, sister Clova (Mel) Self of Marana AZ, sister Margaruette (Donald) Subaran of Fontana, CA, sister Kay (Lee) Moreno of Tucson, AZ, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, baby daughter Sherilyn and brother Jack.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday April 8, 2018 at Schipper’s Funeral Home, 308 S. Blackstone Ave., Colon MI. The viewing is scheduled from 12:00 to 2:00pm with the service scheduled 2:00 pm followed by a graveside service. The family graciously welcomes your gifts of flowers.
A memorial service will be held on April 21, 2018 at 11:00 am with a luncheon to follow at Arcadia Gospel Fellowship (formerly known as Mountain View Baptist Church), 4233 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ. In lieu of flowers at this service, the family asks that donations be made to Arcadia Gospel Fellowship in remembrance of Forrest.