Audrey Mildred Meitzner (nee Eastlund), age 89, died Wednesday, November 1, 2017 of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease at Gardenside Crossing, a loving and caring community at the North Central Health Care Facility. She was born on December 12, 1927, in Superior, Wisconsin to Goodwin and Kathleen Eastlund. The youngest of three children, she was pre-deceased by her sister, Shirley and her brother, James.
Beloved wife of Emil Meitzner for sixty six years, Audrey was the loving, creative, and eternally optimistic mother of eight children; Eric (Ann Andersen) Meitzner – Solon Springs, Wisconsin, Ann (Bob, deceased) Brooks – Wausau, Wisconsin, George Meitzner – Aurora, Colorado, Karl (Louise) Meitzner – Solon Springs, Wisconsin, Leonard Meitzner – Tucson, Arizona, Jane (Brad Kennedy) Dolan – Wausau, Wisconsin, Luther (Jill) Meitzner – Dayton, Ohio, and Andrew Meitzner – Wausau, Wisconsin. She was an adored and adoring grandmother to Maggie (Scott) Highhouse, Samuel Brooks, Norah (Jason) Brown, Kevin (Traci) Kennedy, Sunshine Meitzner, Catharine (Brett) Karow, Benjamin (fiancé Chelsea Mayton) Brooks, Jet Meitzner, Katie Kennedy (deceased), Erin (Lauren) Meitzner, Seth Meitzner, Erika Meitzner, Clara Kennedy, Kjersti Wendlandt and four step-grandchildren. Audrey left eleven great-grandchildren to share memories of her with Emil; Carmen Highhouse, Cole Highhouse, Baye Highhouse, Jackson Brown, Julian Brown, Annarose Brown, Owen Highhouse, Bradley Kennedy, Willow Highhouse, Deacon Brown, Myla Kennedy, and Baby Karow, soon to be born. She is also greatly missed by her beloved dog, Boris, who jumped onto her lap every day at Gardenside Crossing, and who does not know what the heck is going on now.
Emil and Audrey lived in Superior, Wisconsin for the first several years of their marriage. In 1967 they moved to a farm in Solon Springs, Wisconsin, where they raised cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, goats, rabbits, horses and their children for the next forty-nine years. Audrey worked all her life and was proud of the fact that she never got paid a cent. In addition to keeping the family and farm running smoothly she worked as a Special Education Aide, transcribed Braille textbooks, gave Adult Literacy lessons, and had huge gardens that she harvested each year. She took classes in woodworking and made furniture for her home. She took a photography class and made a darkroom to process her own photography. She participated in women’s rights marches, LBGT marches, Pro-choice marches, and was a fierce advocate for those in need. After the kids left home, Audrey and Emil joined the Peace Corps and spent the following two and a half years in Botswana, Africa, followed by a six month world tour on their way back to Wisconsin. The farm then became their home base as they traveled to visit sons in Spain and Italy, and friends in India, Scotland, and several of the United States. Audrey took her last overseas trip to Moscow, in Russia, to attend an international music conference in 2006.
Audrey knew no borders and no labels. Every person she met and every place she travelled broadened her views and she welcomed that. At age seventy-two, she decided she wanted to play the accordion and, true to fashion, she did not jump in lightly. She not only learned to play, but became very involved with the World of Accordions Museum, including serving thirteen years on the Board of Directors. She was an avid seamstress, sewing clothes for her family, costumes for high school musicals, and elaborate doll clothes and toys which she gave as gifts and donated to various non-profit organizations. She passed this interest on to her grandchildren, patiently helping and teaching them to sew anything they chose. She was also an artist, creating paintings and photographs that showed the beauty in everyday life, from the farm in Solon Springs to the villages of Botswana. Audrey loved animals, especially her horses, dogs (Shep, Drags, Shep, Shep, Shep…), and cats (Gypsy, Gypsy, Gypsy, Walter, and Belle).
In 2015, Audrey and Emil moved to Wausau, Wisconsin. Audrey’s family would like to extend their gratitude to all of the staff at Gardenside Crossing/Mount View Nursing Home. We were humbled daily by their strength, compassion and loving care. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Audrey’s name to Gardenside Crossing at the North Central Health Care Facility.
Condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com