Talivaldis Meijers, 85, of Lake Charles, La., formerly of Columbus, died at his home on Monday, August 6, 2012.
Born in Rujiena, Latvia, on December 17, 1926, to Mila and Ernests Meijers, he was active in his youth in the Latvian resistance movement against the German and Russian invaders. Forced to leave his country after the Soviet occupation in WW II, he spent several years in refugee camps in Germany, where he met and married the mother of his eight children, Ruta Asars Meijers. They immigrated to the United States in 1949, and soon settled in Indiana.
A self-taught architectural designer, he designed and built hundreds of homes in Columbus, where he was known by the nickname “Ted”, and in Lake Charles. He developed a loyal clientele who appreciated his eye for balancing form and function. In the 1980s, he moved to Louisiana and often referred to himself as a born-again Cajun. In 2010, his mid-century-modern-style homes were featured on a tour presented by the Indiana Landmarks Foundation.
Apart from work, his primary interests were reading, world history, current events, theatre, and nature. His lifelong motto was "less is more." He lived simply and shared generously with his communities. Outside his modest home, he built elaborate water fountains and feeding stations for the birds and squirrels he loved to watch while working at his drafting board.
Talivaldis will be missed by his loving companion of 19 years, Barbara Salvo of Lake Charles. Also surviving are children, Karlis Meijers of Lake Charles, Ilze Meijers of Greenfield, Mass., Maija Meijers (Bruce Byers) of Shelburne, Mass., Dagmara Meijers of Chicago, Ill., Andris Meijers of Battle Creek, Mich., Anne Meijers (Robert Cabin) of Penrose, N.C., and Valda (James) Hillery of Bloomington; and grandchildren, Maija Tröller of Paris, France, Varis Mohler of Shelburne Falls, Ma., Ludwig Tröller of Berlin, Germany, Ivars Byers of Greenfield, Mass., Paul Meijers Cabin of Penrose, N.C., and Ellen Cabin of Penrose, N.C.
Rhonda Bertrand, who worked with him for many years, will take over the residential design business.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters; a granddaughter, Alina Troller in Paris, France in 1982; a son Eriks Talivaldis Meijers of Flagstaff, Ariz. in 2005; and his former wife, Ruta Meijers, who passed away recently in Latvia.
At his request, there will be no public memorial service. The family would appreciate receiving stories or photos from Columbus residents who have memories of working with him and living in homes of his design (please send to email@example.com). Memorials can be sent to Habitat for Humanity or Public Radio.