On October 11th, 1995, the Georgia O’Keeffe community lost a good friend, Jeff Meyer.
Jeff, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, exemplified Sandia’s motto of providing “Exceptional Service in the National Interest.” He was highly regarded by his peers as a visionary and as a pillar of ethical and moral strength. Jeff had a gift for being able to work with people at all levels. Above all, he was known as a talented problem solver on a never-ending search for answers.
Jeff was a firm believer in the practice of enriching children’s lives. As a result, he was a frequent visitor to our school. Jeff loved to look at the beautiful faces of the students who were so eager to learn and the teachers who helped them on their way to success. He especially enjoyed his family’s involvement in the school Library. After his death, many people inquired about some sort of a memorial to Jeff.
At a meeting between Joyce Etulain (the school librarian at that time), Jeff’s family, and some of his friends, it was decided to convert an area of the Library into a state-of-the-art technology room as a memorial to Jeff. The community was very generous. During Spring Break in 1996, a large storage room and hallway next to the Library were converted into a technology area by removing a wall, painting, and adding carpeting, wiring, and cabinets. Upon completion of the new area, computers, a memorial plaque, and a photo of the family were added. And the Jeff Meyer Technology Wing was born.
The dedication of the Jeff Meyer Technology Wing was held on the evening of May 7th, 1996. Family, friends, colleagues, and members of the Georgia O’Keeffe community filled the Library with quiet anticipation. Friends of the Library provided beautiful flowers and delicious refreshments.
Mrs. Etulain welcomed all the guests, introduced members of the Meyer family, and spoke about her memories of Jeff. Jeff’s two young daughters cut a ribbon, which officially opened the Wing. After a time of silent reflection on Jeff’s traits and values as noted on his memorial plaque -- searcher, visionary, wise, creative, honorable, spirited, courageous, humorous, leader, loving, friend, loyal, humane, family -- the memorial plaque was lighted.
Several people spoke: Jeff’s father, brother, and both daughters, as well as the principal of Georgia O’Keeffe, Nicolette Dennis. After the speeches the guests assembled outdoors to watch Jeff’s daughters release 52 colored balloons -- one for each year of Jeff’s life – as symbols of innocence, childhood, and joy. Finally, the guests reassembled in the Library to enjoy the refreshments and conversation.
Jeff Meyer touched many lives while he was alive, and through the Jeff Meyer Technology Wing he continues to touch the lives of the many children who use it today. The Wing is a part of Jeff’s legacy to the world.
It is hoped that this webpage will inform those who benefit from the Jeff Meyer Technology Wing about the man who inspired it. It is also hoped that as each generation of O’Keeffe students learns about Jeff and how the Wing came about, they will will absorb Jeff’s ideals and be encouraged to become learners and searchers themselves, and to do what they can to make this world a little bit better, a little bit safer, and a littler bit kinder – just as Jeff Meyer did.