Retired Maj. Gen. Stewart C. Meyer, who commanded the former Test and Experimental Command at West Fort Hood and later served as Harker Heights’ mayor in the mid-1990s, died Monday night at Metroplex Hospital. He was 91.
A 1943 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a veteran of three wars, Meyer served 36 years in the Army, retiring in 1979. During his distinguished career, he earned a Silver Star for gallantry, five Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and 16 air medals.
A resident of Harker Heights since 1980, Meyer was elected as the city’s mayor in 1993, serving until late 1997, when he resigned to run for Bell County judge with the goal of unifying east and west Bell County. He was defeated in the Republican primary by current Judge Jon Burrows.
Meyer was born April 14, 1921, in El Paso, the son of an Army brigadier general.
Soon after his West Point graduation, Meyer was deployed to Europe at the height of World War II.
He spent nearly nine months in Normandy and joined his division as it organized to head east into Europe. In October 1944, during combat in Germany, he was wounded when a shell fragment penetrated his right foot.
After the war, Meyer held several positions, including executive officer of the ROTC detachment at the University of William & Mary.
He earned his master’s degree from the University of Michigan and attended the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
Meyer served in Korea during the 1950s and two tours in Vietnam during the 1960s and ’70s. Meyer also served three years at the Pentagon and two years in Washington, D.C., but he told the Herald in a 2007 interview that his favorite times were those he spent with fellow soldiers.
“I didn’t care for Washington much,” he recalled. “I would rather be with troop units.”
His last position was as director of the Army’s Ballistic Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
After his military retirement, Meyer was active as a consultant in space and conventional warfare programs.
As Harker Heights mayor, Meyer was at the forefront of a concerted effort to raise business standards in the city, as well as build a new city hall.
“I think we were very successful in putting together ordinances that we thought would be inclined for progress in the city,” Meyer later said of the City Council’s actions during his tenure.
However, he declined to claim credit for the city’s rebirth in the mid-1990s.
“Some of it just sort of grows while you are in office, and the only thing you can claim is that you encouraged it,” Meyer said in the 2007 interview. “Mostly, I am proud of the citizens of Harker Heights, that they worked so hard to develop Harker Heights.”
After leaving office, Meyer worked to encourage voter registration and voter participation in the Killeen-Harker Heights area, through the Alliance of Central Texas.
He was a longtime member of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Killeen, where he served in several capacities, including senior warden.
Meyer also was a member of the Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club.
Survivors include Mari, his wife of almost 33 years; three daughters, Ann Parker, Margaret Surdyk and Catherine Meyer-Seligman; three stepsons, Luis Jac Morton, Parker Meyer and John Morton; and a stepdaughter, Leslie Green.
Services for Meyer are pending with Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen.