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MMD > Archives > February 2006 > 2006.02.21 > 02Prev  Next

Passing of Carl Meyer
By Tom Lear

I am sorry to report that Carl Meyer is no longer with us.  He
passed away suddenly on February 14, 2006.  I first became acquainted
with Carl Meyer by phone in 2000 during my search for information
about Pianocorders.  He was very friendly and helpful.

I finally met Carl at his home in Santa Clara a couple of years ago
when I went there to pick up a couple of Pianocorder systems for
Terry Smythe and myself.  Carl had a great setup in his garage with
many shelves and bins for electronic and piano materials and tools.

Carl was working on a grand piano at the time and went to great
lengths to explain harmonicity and how it related to any particular
piano and how to get a smooth curve over the break, with graphs, yet.
While I could understand the gist of it, it was a bit beyond my
technical background or experience.

This was about the time Mark Fontana's first versions of the WinAmp
Plug-in for Pianocorder became available and I was anxious for Carl
to get a system into one of his pianos and start using the Pianocorder
again with the new player.  Carl seemed to be in great shape and
spirits, but was in his 70s then, and I wanted him to get something
up and running while he still was here to enjoy it.

This was one of those "The Shoemaker's children has no shoes" things.
Carl must have installed many Pianocorders over the years but didn't
currently have one himself.

He had a nice old upright he planned to rebuild.  Some months later
he finally had a Pianocorder in the newly rebuilt upright working and
playing Terry Smythe's MIDI files.  Mark Fontana and I provided files
too, or course.  Carl had engineered an upgrade for the Pianocorder
sustain pedal circuit which he shared with me which I installed on my,
and several friend's, playback boards.

Carl was a teacher and loved to share his considerable knowledge about
pianos and electronics.  I understand he regularly taught classes at
his local and other Piano Guild functions.  Carl was an inventor and
made and sold his own special tools for piano work.

John Biggs, a long time friend of Carl's, contacted me this week and
sent along the obituary from the San Jose Mercury News; see following.

The reality is that we belong to a hobby which has a majority of
members who could be in sights of the reaper at any moment.  It's a
bummer some people can't stay around longer, but that's not the way of
things, of course.

We can be happy knowing that Carl did have a very long productive run
and had fun while he was here.  I have no details about Carl's passing
other than apparently it was quick.  We should all be so lucky at the

Carl was one very smart man and was able to make a living working for
himself doing the kind of work he loved to do, had many friends and was
very highly thought of by his peers.  Carl's legacy will live on
through the piano techs he taught, his inventions, and his pianos and
Pianocorders. I think of him whenever I see the sustain pedal upgrade
on my playback board.

I hope others will contribute some memories of Carl who knew him better
than I.  Carl was a fun guy; I'm sure there are some good stories to

Tom Lear

 - - - -

From the San Jose Mercury News, Feb.17th, 2006

Carl W. Meyer of Santa Clara, age 75, passed away suddenly on February
14, 2006. Born on March 7, 1930 in Indiana, he entered the army at age
19. While stationed in Hawaii, he met and married Felisa Torres of
Kauai. They resided in Indiana, Florida, Georgia and finally in
California. Originally an electronics engineer, he pursued his passion
by becoming a self employed piano technician in 1985.

Surviving are his wife, Felisa T. Meyer, his son, Michael D. Meyer, his
daughter, Nita M. Meyer, his daughter Lisa G. Meyer and her husband
Robert R.  Zeigler, III of Napa, along with six grandchildren: Aaron D.
Meyer, Michael S.  Meyer, Shay P. Meyer, Nicole R. Meyer, Devan T. Day
and Darien J. Lyke; his siblings, Edna Smith (husband Howard), his
sister Pauline Block (husband Lloyd), his brother Robert Meyer (wife
Darlene) all of Indiana, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 18,
2006 at Lima Family Mortuary, 466 N. Winchester Blvd., in Santa Clara.
Published in the San Jose Mercury News on 2/17/2006.

(Message sent Tue 21 Feb 2006, 08:50:43 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Carl, Meyer, Passing

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