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Victor Mearl Van Meter (1934-2023)

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Victor Mearl Van Meter, 89, passed away peacefully on Nov. 20, 2023, at Ashwood Court, North Richland Hills, Texas, where he had lived for the last 10 years.

Victor was a lifelong educator, teaching mathematics in high school and college for 40 years. He was a natural and patient teacher who was a favorite of countless students through the years, even if he did teach math. Victor was known for his deadpan sense of humor and for spinning stories that seemed believable, but ended in absolute silliness. His teasing humor was always lighthearted, and he made his wife, Vandelia, laugh and laugh.  

Vandelia was the love of his life and they were married in 1954 at the age of 19 after meeting and falling in love at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, Kan. They were devoted to each other and had a beautiful 67 years together until Vandelia’s passing in 2021. Surviving Victor is daughter Allison Owen, husband Cameron and their son Wellington of Kennedale, Texas. Also, son Kris Van Meter and wife Lori of Amston, Conn., and their children Nathan, Sharon and Kristi.

Victor was an early adopter of computer technology and in 1981 secured a grant from Apple for a roomful of Macintosh computers for his students at Ellsworth High School, where he taught for many years. He developed a curriculum to teach basic computer programming skills to students and began a night course for adults who wanted to learn this brand new technology.  

Victor was one of those people who seemed to know how to do everything. He was skilled at woodworking and any household task that needed to be done. In 1963, he and his young wife bought a large, beautiful home in Ellsworth and proceeded to renovate and remodel it with a lot of elbow grease and sweat. During this time, they raised their young family and were active in the church and community. Later, they opened an arts and crafts store on Main Street in Ellsworth called The Workshop, and enjoyed many years of creativity, especially with ceramics and stained glass. Victor really loved working with stained glass and created many exceptional pieces he would gift to family and friends.

Victor was the son of Lee and Doris Van Meter and grew up in the very humble town of Ada, Kan. Victor would set fishing lines in the river before school and run down to check them afterwards. He would bring his dog and his rifle with him in case he could bag a rabbit or squirrel to take home. These exploits sounded like stories out of Huckleberry Finn to his kids, but to him, it was just the way he grew up.
Victor was a loving father who was always supportive and fun to be around. He was always good at any game and ready to play, but never cared if he won. He was remarkably good at ping-pong, playing with either hand, and his serves had so much English, they were devastating. Victor played a mean game of chess and had an uncanny ability to “shoot the moon” at hearts. Victor and Vandelia enjoyed playing bridge and made a formidable team.

Victor will be missed by many, many people whose lives he brightened through his humor and his giving spirit. His steady, humble work ethic and his unfailing devotion to his wife and family were examples for his children of how to live a worthwhile life. We will miss him.

If you knew Victor and would like to make a memorial on his behalf, please thank a teacher for what they do. Especially a math teacher!