A mayor. A former two-star general. A devoted husband and father. A Harker Heights visionary.
These were only a few of the terms that friends and colleagues used to describe Stewart C. Meyer during Tuesday morning’s library renaming ceremony.
From now on, Meyer’s name will grace the front of the library, visibly cementing Meyer’s place in Harker Heights history. Meyer died in January at age 91.
Meyer loved to read, said his wife, Mari, so much that it occasionally diverted him from household chores. One morning, wind had blown newsletters across the couple’s front lawn. The two started picking up the papers, and after Mari finished the chore, she couldn’t find her husband. She eventually found him reading a single newsletter page. “What are you doing?” she asked him.
“Wait, this is very interesting,” he replied.
The ceremony honored the life of a man who served as Heights mayor from 1993 to 1997, overseeing a key phase of the city’s growth while raising business standards, bolstering the city’s recreational facilities and arranging plans for a library, officials said.
Meyer led planning for Carl Levin Park, which now hosts many entertainment events, Mayor Mike Aycock said.
“We have put on a wall the legacy that is Stewart C. Meyer,” Aycock said. “Every time we go by and look at that, we will understand the Stewart C. Meyer era.”
Mari Meyer said her husband, if present, would humbly accept the renaming honor, but would emphasize team interplay, rather than individual accolades, as the driving force behind Harker Heights’ rise in the 1990s.
“Stew would say, ‘No, no, no, it was not me, it was that wonderful team,’” she said. “He was the most unassuming man I ever knew.”
Aycock said Stewart Meyer facilitated teamwork on the council and helped forge Harker Heights’ identity as a municipality separate from Killeen, working toward economic growth and “seeing the vision that is Harker Heights today.”
Meyer constantly reminded residents that voting was “not an opportunity, but an obligation,” according to Aycock.
In addition to his civic involvement, Meyer served 36 years in the Army, including tours in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Before retiring in 1979, he earned a Silver Star for gallantry, five Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and 16 air medals.
Meyer led Heights with wit and heart, City Manager Steve Carpenter said.
“If it’s coming from your heart, people see that,” he said. “They want to follow somebody that’s truly genuine.”
With his perseverance and infectious smile, Meyer “had a unique ability to lead others, even when they didn’t think they wanted to go that way,” said community leader Mike Helm. “At the end of the day, everybody came along willingly because Stew was able to coalesce people to find a shared vision that everybody could follow. We stand on broad shoulders, the shoulders of Stew Meyer.”