Remembering Wally Meyer

Randolph “Wally” Meyer — a beloved Westporter, former RTM member and 2nd selectman, former Rotary president and longtime justice of the peace — died Saturday. He was 91.

In typical Wally Meyer fashion, his obituary notes that he was born in Mount Vernon, New York; graduated from high school in Rochester, and “not having ‘bone spurs,’ he enlisted in the Army for 3 years.”

He was posted to the 25th Division as a squad leader, and served in Korea from August 1951 to May 1952.

Wally finished his military obligation in Germany, and traveled extensively in Europe. He attended Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in London, and Bastille Day in Paris.

Wally Meyer

Wally used the GI Bill to attend Union College. After graduating in 1957, he joined IBM. He spent 20 years there, then left to establish Westport Marketing, a computer leasing company.

Wally served 12 terms on the RTM, and 4 as 2nd selectman, under Democratic 1st selectman Martha Hauhuth.

Wally was a founder of Project Return — the North Compo Road home for teenage girls and young women — and was its treasurer for 12 years.

He then joined the board of Mid-Fairfield AIDS Project, and spent 25 years as treasurer.

In addition to his service with the Westport Rotary Club (including president), he was a justice of the peace for 18 years. In March of 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, he officiated at an impromptu wedding on Old Mill Beach, across from his home. (Click here for that “06880” story.) 

Wally Meyer (left) prepares for a marriage ceremony at Old Mill Beach.

Wally’s obituary calls him “a strong globalist. He believed that some day the world will have a single government.” It also includes a quote from William Penn: “For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.”

Wally was predeceased by his sons John and Kevin Meyer, and his stepdaughter Susan Lloyd.

He is survived by “Mother Earth, he hopes:; his wife Joan Beauvais; and stepsons James Meyer of Trumbull, William Lloyd of Westport, David Lloyd of Canton, Connecticut, Douglas Lloyd of Sacramento, and Bob Beauvais of Grapevine, Texas.

Per Wally’s request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Susan Fund, 458 Newtown Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851.

19 responses to “Remembering Wally Meyer

  1. Sal Liccione

    Wehn I work at parks and recreation I Would always see Wally he always had a smile and he rely cared about Westport and everything about this town he will rely be missed I will miss talking to him all the time all over Westport

  2. Merrin J. Kramer

    Wally was a wonderful person. He officiated at my wedding and we grew to know him very well. We will miss his quick wit and his stories.

  3. Jack Backiel

    I wonder if Mr. Meyer worked at the IBM building that was in Westport near the Compo Shopping Center. In the 1970s, IBM had a bowling league at our lanes and I knew the guy who ran the department/division in Westport. I don’t recall his name, but he told me he only had a high school education and everyone who worked for him had a Ph.D. He said, at the time, he wouldn’t even been able to get a job with IMB, let alone run the Westport division. He joined IBM in 1954 and worked his way up, and that’s why he held such an important position with only a high school education.

  4. Matthew Mandell

    Sad to hear this. Early on in my RTM career, Wally was always supportive and offered advice. Years later would come an email backing me up or saying maybe do this instead. Was always good seeing him and having a great chat. Such a nice guy, he will be missed.

  5. Arline Gertzoff

    A pleasure to have known him Always saw the lighter side and was instrumental in getting pollworkers better remuneration for our efforts He will be sorely missed
    Rest in peacr

  6. Charlie Haberstroh

    Wally was one of a kind. Met him when I was in the RTM in 2001-3. Although we sometimes disagreed over the years since, I always appreciated his point of view and listened. Remarkable accomplishments but I think his greatest ones were the ones he had one-on-one. Rest in peace, Wally!

  7. John Kantor

    One of the all time greats. A sad loss.

  8. Fred Cantor

    A very nice guy who seemed to represent the very best of the Old Mill Cove neighborhood.

  9. Michael A Rea

    I will always have fond memories of Wally.
    Wearing his black top hat at Memorial Day Parades. Dressing up to play Santa during the holidays. Most of all on his service to the town on the RTM where I served with him for over a decade,
    Rest in Peace, Wally ….truly one of Westport’s great character and volunteer..
    He will be missed.

  10. Wally was a great guy. I enjoyed poker with him
    And he presided at our daughter Dana’s wedding.
    A real gentleman.
    Brian Strong

  11. Bobbie Herman

    I am so sorry to learn this. I knew Wally for over 35 years, since moving to Westport. We agreed on many things, especially political, but what I remember most about him was his ready smile, good humor and wisecracks. Rest in Peace, Wally — we’ll miss you!

  12. Tom Kretsch

    I first met Wally in the early seventies. I lived with four teachers in the third house on the left in Old Mill Beach. Wally lived next door in the second house. In the first house lived all the waitstaff from Cafe Dela Page (spelling?)We had to vacate our rental in June for summer rentals and Wally said I could rent a room from him for the summer so I did. A great place to live. In later years we met up and he always had kind words to say about things he read about me regarding my teaching and photography. Just a really kind soul.

  13. I will miss talking with Wally, he had many great stories to tell. I was fortunate to work a few weddings with him as well. A great friend.

  14. Michael Calise

    A True Champion in the annuals of Westport. He will be missed for sure!

  15. Wally was a unique man — a searcher, a caring, big-hearted man committed to his beliefs. He would often start conversations without introducing the subject, so it took a while to know what he was talking about!

    Without Wally there never would have been a Project Return, the very special group home on Compo Road for teenage girls who needed to heal and rebuild their lives. The idea for a home for girls was Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Kate McGraw’s. Her determination got it started. But Wally’s commitment to helping those girls made it happen. He was there from the beginning and was instrumental in securing a loan from Westport Bank and Trust so we could finish renovating the house. Then, after opening our doors, he helped us meet payroll for those first pivotal months. We would not have survived without Wally’s generosity.

    For 12 years, he gifted us bookkeeping services. As treasurer he saw to it that we repaid our loans and gave us a firm foundation for years to come. Consequently, he helped change the lives of more than 160 girls who lived at Project Return and those of so many of the staff who came to work there. It was all about the power of love and generosity and caring.

    Thank you, Wally, for changing my life.

  16. Sara Palmer

    Running into Wally, he made you feel like a million bucks!

  17. Sara Palmer

    Running into Wally always made you feel like a million bucks!

  18. Donald Bergmann

    Wally and I had many interactions, many different topics, and always with civility and grace, usually with humor. Wally Meyer was a lovely person.
    Don Bergmann

  19. Matt Bannon

    Wally found Me and New England Hemp Farm on line. We began corresponding and I found his stories simply fascinating.. Such a very nice man.. We are so sorry for his families loss

    Rest In Peace Wally