WILMINGTON, N.C. AND ORONO – Elizabeth Coplin Swingle Meyer, formerly of Orono, was born July 29, 1910 to Annette Coplin Swingle and Lewis Henry Swingle on farmland settled by her great-grandparents, who emigrated from Germany in 1785.
She began her education in a one-room schoolhouse in Philo, Ohio, where she was in charge of lighting the wood stove before class. She attended high school in Zanesville, where she lived with her aunt and uncle during the school week. Elizabeth was graduated from Wittenberg College in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Home Economics and English. In 1937, Elizabeth earned a Master of Science degree from Ohio State University and was elected to Kappa Omicron Nu, the national home economics honorary society. She met her husband to be, Marvin Clinton Meyer, while pursuing her degree at Ohio State University.
Elizabeth’s teaching experience carried her to many institutions and many states. It encompassed high school teaching in Ohio and in Maine and at the college level at the University of Texas at Austin, Skidmore College, Wittenberg University, North Texas State Teachers College, Queens College, University of Arizona, and University of Maine at Orono. After her marriage to Marvin C. Meyer in 1946, the couple moved to Orono, Maine where Marvin was Professor of Zoology and Elizabeth became lecturer in home economics at the University of Maine. She stayed home to nurture her children in their younger years, returning to her profession as a home economics teacher at Old Town High School in 1957 when all three of her children were in school. In 1974 she retired from teaching. She was an accomplished seamstress and made many clothes for her family, including suits for her husband and one daughter’s wedding dress. She was a longtime member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Thursday Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She was a member of the Church of Universal Fellowship for over 50 years and served on the Board of Deacons and was active in Alliance.
After Marvin’s death in 1992, Elizabeth began to spend extended periods of time in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she could enjoy the mild winters. She became an active member of North Carolina Sorosis Women’s Club and First Baptist Church of Wilmington. She moved to Wilmington permanently after her 90th birthday. There she died peacefully in her sleep on June 27, 2014, just one month shy of her 104th birthday.
She is survived by daughter, Dr. Susan Swingle Meyer Durst and husband, Bernd Durst of Zornheim, Germany, son, Dr. Clinton Louis Meyer and wife, Katherine G. Meyer of Wilmington, NC, daughter, N. Annette Meyerhorn and companion, James Knowles, of Dover, NH; grandchildren, Thomas Durst, Martin Durst, Ellen Durst, Christine Meyer, David Meyer, Katherine Meyer, Elizabeth Horn, J.D., and husband, Daniel Morrell, Katherine Horn and husband, Dr. Scott Chamberlain, Johanna Horn and numerous nieces and nephews. Elizabeth was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Marvin Clinton Meyer, her parents and five siblings: Solomon Luther Swingle, Mary Eleanor Swingle Shai, Lucy Louise Swingle Shoemaker, the Reverend Henry Jacob Swingle, and Ruth Esther Swingle Baumberger.
A service of Celebration of Life was held for Elizabeth Meyer on Sunday, June 29 at First Baptist Church of Wilmington, NC. A memorial service will be held at the Church of Universal Fellowship, Orono, at 3 p.m. on September 12, following the intermittent of the urn at Riverside Cemetery, Orono. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in memory of Elizabeth may contribute to the music ministry at the Church of Universal Fellowship, 82 Main Street, Orono, ME 04473. Condolences to the family can be addressed to Dr. Clinton Meyer, 7429 Masonboro Sound Road, Wilmington, NC 28409.