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James Michael Vander Meer, "Jim", age 74, of Fairfield, Ohio, passed away, surrounded by his loving family, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
Jim was born on February 23, 1945, in Le Mars, Iowa, to the late Peter and Margaret (Tuynman) Vander Meer. Jim grew up in Le Mars and graduated from Gehlen Catholic High School in 1963. There he enjoyed singing in operettas and playing the trumpet in the school band and jazz band. Jim worked in the Vander Meer Bakery and married Carolyn (Minard) Vander Meer in Le Mars on August 5, 1967.
Jim was known for his love of chemistry. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Westmar College in 1968 with a major in Chemistry. He went on to earn his Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 1972 and was a Professor of Chemistry at St. Louis University until 1977. Jim then moved to Cincinnati to begin his career at Proctor & Gamble, where he worked in Analytical Science and Consumer Products for 29 years. During his career at Proctor & Gamble, he received five patents and became a Westmar College 1986 Distinguished Alumni “In Recognition of Outstanding Achievements in Research” relating to his work on the formulation and national introduction of the first Tide Liquid.
Jim enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, serving his church, traveling, birding and photography.
Jim is survived by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn (Minard) Vander Meer, daughters Julie (Scott) Joehlin, Sarah (Steve) Peefer, and Jane (Brian) Weiler, grandchildren Andrew, Jason and Adam (Joehlin), Ben and Lilly (Peefer) and Colin (Weiler), his siblings Peter (Laura), Mary (Ken) Conry, Bill (Eileen), Evelyn (Jim) Albrecht, Tom (Lynda), Ann (Joe) Savage, and Dorothy Kelley, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his niece Atea Savage, sister-in-law Barbara (Grosenheider) Vander Meer, and brother-in-law Michael Kelley.
Jim will forever be remembered for his gentle kind-hearted nature, sense of humor, and infectious smile. He was a true gentleman and scholar.
A memorial service will be held at Augsburg Lutheran Church, 11676 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45231, on Saturday, June 1, at 2 pm. The family will receive friends from 1-2pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Augsburg Lutheran Church.