Cover photo for Donald Van Meter's Obituary
Donald Van Meter Profile Photo
1933 Donald 2024

Donald Van Meter

August 22, 1933 — April 4, 2024

Easley

Donald Lawrence Van Meter, 90, of Easley, South Carolina, passed away on April 4, 2024 after an extended illness. 

Don was born on August 22, 1933 to Lawrence Ellis Van Meter and Ruth Elizabeth Simpson Van Meter in Norphlet, Arkansas. After a childhood that included living in Washington DC, Sacramento CA, Monticello, AR, Los Angeles, CA, and Jones Mill, AR, Don graduated from Magnet Cove High School in Arkansas in 1951, during which time he became a skilled pianist. Don went on to study chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas. Upon graduating with his degree in 1955, Don’s initial job was in the Navy where he served a two year tour of duty, at the end of which he began his career in chemical engineering with Chemstrand in Decatur, Alabama. It was here that Don met and married Norma Hellums in 1959. Don and Norma’s three children, Stuart, Roxanne, and John were all born in Decatur.

Don was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and enjoyed a 35 year career in the chemicals production industry, retiring in 1992 after 26 years with the Amoco Corporation which included periods of time spent in Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Illinois, and Belgium. After retirement, Don and Norma retired to Easley, South Carolina, where they became involved as members of Easley First Baptist Church. Don served as a deacon and was also a member of the adult and senior choirs. He joined the Lion’s Club of Easley, where he served for many years as both a member and an officer. Don enjoyed staying involved with the Amoco retirees’ social organization, attending several events to keep in touch with old coworkers and friends. Don and Norma loved traveling and made several memorable trips from Easley, visiting Australia, Europe, South America, and various locations within the continental United States. After Norma’s passing in 2010, Don married Mary Helen Williams, with whom he spent the remaining years of his life. Don and Mary loved one another and enjoyed many experiences and travels during their years together, and he continued to serve Easley First Baptist Church with Mary until his passing.

Don’s motto was “Every day is Don’s big day”, and over his lifetime Don enjoyed many pursuits. He was a born volunteer, always looking for an opportunity to help others. Over the years he spent time as a volunteer for Meals On Wheels, organized hiking and other outings for seniors at the church, volunteered at the information desk at the Greenville airport, and assisted with youth from Simpson Academy. For leisure, in addition to playing the piano throughout his life, Don enjoyed the arts in general and attending live theater. As a young man he enjoyed playing tennis, and he also loved watching sports, enthusiastically rooting for both the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Clemson Tigers. Don spent a great deal of time researching the genealogical history of the Van Meter family, and loved to regale his family with stories from his childhood and stories that he learned from his research. Don took up fly fishing after retirement, and enjoyed fishing local rivers and the waters of the Pisgah Forest, as well as taking several fishing trips out west to Montana. He enjoyed hiking and the outdoors, and hiked up Table Rock and Mount LeConte several times. Don was always quick to share a smile and a good wish with everyone he met.

Don is survived by his wife Mary Helen Williams Van Meter, sons Dr. Stuart Van Meter and John (Chong Ae) Van Meter, daughter Roxanne (Jeff) Green, stepson Todd Williams, grandchildren Erin Van Meter, Michal Van Meter, Daniel Green, Danielle Sundstrom, Shane Pettit and Mattson Williams, daughter-in-law Debra Van Meter, younger sister Nancy Sexton, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Don was predeceased by his wife Norma Hellums Van Meter and his older sister Ann Rusher.

The family would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Don’s medical care providers over the past 15 months, to Agape Care for their thoughtful assistance in caring for Don, and to The Retreat/Viva Senior Living of Easley for helping to make his final days peaceful and comfortable.

Memorial services for Don will be held Sunday, April 7, at Easley First Baptist Church, 300 E. 1st Ave, Easley, SC, and officiated by Reverend John Adams. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Easley Lion’s Club and members of the Don Jones and Marion Moorhead Growth Groups. Visitation will be from 1:00 until 2:15 pm, with the funeral service beginning at 2:30 and followed by a graveside service at Robinson Memorial Gardens, 1425 Powdersville Rd, Easley. In lieu of flowers, Don asked that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org, or the Easley First Baptist Church Building Fund (address above).

Visit RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory – Powdersville Road, Easley.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Van Meter, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, April 7, 2024

1:00 - 2:15 pm (Eastern time)

Easley First Baptist Church

300 E 1st Ave, Easley, SC 29640

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Funeral Service

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Easley First Baptist Church

300 E 1st Ave, Easley, SC 29640

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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