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John Emanuel Meckler

John Emanuel Meckler was born October 9, 1942 in Missoula, Montana, the youngest child of John and Mary Meckler. He grew up in Missoula and Salem, Oregon and graduated high school from Dixon, Montana in 1960. After high school he joined the Navy, serving on the USS Canberra and the USS Rochester before being discharged in 1963. He then attended college at Western Montana College (now University of Montana, Western) where he got a degree in education. There he met Marian McKenzie, and the two married in 1966, eventually welcoming three children, Kari, Eric, and Sarah. John taught school in Darby and Fort Shaw before the family moved to Plains in 1976 where he taught elementary music and eventually became the K – 12 librarian.

In addition to teaching, John also played drums in several bands, served on the Plains Volunteer Fire Department (as Chief before retiring), and served on the Plains Community Ambulance as an EMT. He, Marian, and Eric owned and operated the Llano Theater for twenty years. He became interested in carving in the late 80s, first chip carving, then character carving. He has been an avid woodworker for years, creating furniture, adding on numerous additions to the family home in Plains, and creating beautiful hand-crafted musical instruments. We have no idea how many lovingly crafted wedding or new baby plaques are out there in the world.

John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary; his sisters, Barbara Ann and Darlene and his nephew, Tony. He is survived by his sister, Marlene (Lonnie); brother-in-law, Kay; wife, Marian; daughter, Kari (Rod); son, Eric; daughter, Sarah (Tate); granddaughters, Sera (Michael), Ashlynn, Leena, Mya, and Risa and numerous nieces, nephews, and honorary grandchildren.

John’s memorial service will be April 9 at 1 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in Plains. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Cancer Network of Sanders County in John’s memory.


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