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Joseph Henry Meier, 74, a former Baker City resident who purchased Leo Adler’s magazine and book wholesale distributorship in 1977, died Feb. 6, 2004, at Portland after suffering a massive stroke related to Alzheimer’s disease.
His funeral was today at Tualatin.
Mr. Meier was born on Aug. 15, 1929, in the home of his grandparents’ in the then-rural Gardenville section of northeast Baltimore. He was the oldest of four children of the late Catherine Ann Worline Meier and Joseph William Meier.
He grew up helping his grandfather work his farm, including work with a team of horses. Part of that farm was later sold to the city and became Radecke Park.
“After those early years of experience from working the farm, Joe decided to pursue a new career in sales,” said his brother, Robert H. Meier of Monkton, Md. “His first job in a lifelong sales career was distributing “Liberty Magazine” within the local Gardenville area when he was just 12 years old. He then moved on to delivering the Baltimore News Post.”
Mr. Meier graduated from Polytechnic Institute in the early 1950s and went on to join the Maryland Air National Guard. He served eight years at the guard’s home base at Harbor Field, the present Dundalk Marine Terminal, prior to the Maryland Air National Guard’s move to its present location at Martin State Airport. He earned a degree in history from Loyola College at Baltimore.
“Joe met the love of his life, Ellen Patricia “Pat” Fogarty, at a local dance when he was 19, and they married in 1955,” his brother said. She became his confidante and best friend for the rest of his life.
Mr. Meier then continued his career in sales and followed in the footsteps of his father, a career milk deliveryman, first with Koontz Creamery and later with Sealtest Dairy.
“After a few years, Joe decided that milk was not going to be the provider for his long-term objectives,” his brother said. “He left the milk route business and went on to bigger and better things.
“After a few years selling for Johnson & Johnson, selling Band-Aids and likes, up and down the East Coast, he returned to his roots in publication distribution, and joined Time Inc.,” his brother said.
In 1969, Mr. Meier transferred to a Time Inc. office in New York City and relocated his young family to
Wilton, Conn. During his stay in the New York area, he worked for several publishing companies and traveled the country extensively calling on magazine wholesalers and retailers. He later returned to Time Inc. as an executive vice president, where he was instrumental in the newsstand launch of “People” magazine.
In 1977, Mr. Meier realized his entrepreneurial dreams when he moved his family West and purchased Leo Adler’s company. The business grew and eventually served retailers in more than seven Western states.
In 1984, Mr. Meier and two friends purchased a similar business in Corvallis. Later, he merged the two companies into INCOR Periodicals Inc., a multi-million dollar distributorship. He retired in 2000, having earned a stellar reputation for innovation and integrity throughout the publications distribution industry.
Mr. Meier was beloved by his children as a great family man, and was known for his humor and storytelling. He loved traveling, woodworking, golfing, gardening and photographing his grandchildren. He read extensively and acquired a large history library.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Ellen “Pat” Fogarty Meier; and their four children, Mary Patricia Cieri of Redding, Conn., Joseph M. Meier of Boise, Timothy Meier of Portland and Kathleen Flores of Lancaster, Pa., and their spouses; seven grandchildren; a sister, Margaret M. Rolfes and two brothers, William J. and Robert H. Meier, all of Baltimore County; and many relatives and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at 1311 N.W. 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 13, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor