Dr. Gerhard Constantine Meier, who practiced medicine in Newport, Rhode Island, for nearly thirty years, passed away peacefully at Newport Hospital on August 16, 2020. He was 81 years old.
Gerhard was born in Lohr am Main, Germany, to the late Alfons and Anna Meier. After graduating from the Maximilians High School in 1957, Gerhard entered the Maximilians Medical School in Munich. He studied anthropology and human genetics but also conducted research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the General Hospital in Malmo, Sweden. He received his MD from the Maximilians University in 1963 and his PhD in 1967.
Dr. Meier first served on a rotating internship at the Newport Hospital in 1964 and was then a resident at the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence from 1966 to 1969. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and was posted to the Watson Army Hospital at Fort Dix, New Jersey, as a Major. Upon his discharge, he opened his office for the practice of Internal Medicine on Belleview Avenue in Newport in March 1971 and joined the Medical Staff at the Newport Hospital, where he served as the Chief of Medicine for seven years. He successfully practiced medicine in Newport for 30 years until his retirement in 1998.
Gerhard loved music and culture, having learned to play the cello and sing as a baritone before and during medical school. He was intimately involved with the Newport Music Festival and served as Board Member, Officer and Vice-President, and also supported the Newport Museum. He was a former subscriber of the Spouting Rock Beach Association and the Newport Reading Room. Gerhard also loved good food and fine wines, and particularly enjoyed the Sunday evening seafood buffets at the Clambake Club.
For twenty-five summers Gerhard volunteered at the hospital on the Greek island of Skiathos in the Aegean Sea. After retiring, he volunteered to work as a doctor in dispensaries in Kathmandu, Nepal, as well as with the Medical Centers of West Africa’s program at the Meskine Hospital in Maroua, Cameroon. He was also an avid private pilot, having successfully crossed the Atlantic with his co-pilot, Michael Coutcher, in his single-engine Cessna 172.
Gerhard is survived by his loving wife, Dagmar Liles-Meier, whom he adored and cherished, his son Dr. Andreas Meier of Munich, Germany, and his two step-sons, Christian and Michael. His first wife, Elaine (Damaskos) Meier, succumbed to cancer in 1986 at age 56.
Gerhard was a devoted husband and will be remembered for his hearty laugh, kindness, and intellectual curiosity. He was known to preach about enjoying life to the fullest but always tempered this positive enthusiasm with good common sense doctor’s advice, such as always wearing a seatbelt while driving. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.
A special thank you to Liz Roque, Gerhard’s caretaker, who was with him until the end and who had taken extra special care of him during the last few months of his life and through the complications of the major stroke he suffered in 2002.
A date and time for a memorial service for Gerhard will be announced at a later date. Donations in lieu of flowers should go to: Medical Centers of West Africa https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/MCWA