Rudy was born on November 27, 1940 in war-torn Poland to Reinhold and Olga Albrecht Meier. Near the end of WWII his Mother, along with Rudy and his younger sister Erna, fled with some other ethnic Germans from their area of Poland to Germany hoping for a better future. On the trip Rudy’s mother died at the age of 25.
After spending some short times with various people Kurt and Amalie Kranz offered to take them in. The Kranzes knew that their mother had died and the father was missing at war. They wanted to adopt them, but could not unless the Red Cross could verify the death of the father.
Rudy’s father was a prisoner of war in England. When he was released he came back to Germany. He saw no future in staying in Germany knowing that his wife was dead and the children missing, so he immigrated to Canada with his brother Paul.
Through the Red Cross Rudy and Erna were located in East Germany. It took several years, but they were finally reunited with their father in Vancouver, B.C., Canada in December 1954.
Rudy was diligent in learning English and soon got a job at a German bakery to help with expenses. He also began attending church for the first time. Through friendship with another German teen he was encouraged to think seriously about putting his trust in Jesus. At 19 he attended a big crusade in the Queen Elisabeth Auditorium in Vancouver, B.C. and committed his life to Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
After High School he attended Prairie Bible Institute. His desire to serve the Lord grew. Between his third and final year he spend 15 months serving with Operation Mobilization in several parts of Europe.
After Bible school he joined Gospel Missionary Union (now Avant Ministries) in the fall of 1965 and was sent to Germany as a missionary. There he first attended a German Bible school for a year to brush up on his German.
During a practical missions trip in Innsbruck Austria, August 1967, he was able to spend one day in Vienna, where Linda, also a recent PBI graduate, was serving at the time with OM. After her year with OM the two spent about two months together at a church outreach ministry in Germany until Linda left for the USA to join the same mission agency as Rudy. She was accepted in May 1968. After deputation Linda joined Rudy in Germany where they were married June 6, 1969.
The call to church-planting work in Austria came in the summer of 1970 and they moved to Enns, Austria the beginning of 1971. In 1987 they moved to Attnang-Puchheim and began working in that area. They spent close to 40 years in Germany and Austria in church-planting ministry before retiring in 2009.Their four children, Kurt, Lisa, Stephen and Susan, were born in Austria.
Rudy had a very outgoing personality. He had a big smile and a servant’s heart. He enjoyed talking to anyone on a variety of subjects even if he hardly knew them.
Rudy was a hard worker. He saw what needed to be done and jumped right in. He enjoyed gardening at home and also helping others with their projects. He transformed our yard by planting apple, peach, cherry and plumb trees, as well as many types of berries and grapes. There was also room for a vegetable garden and many flowers. He helped our Gateway Church doing substitute janitor work and general outside church maintenance for several years. He also taught children in the Sunday School and Good News Club until his brain cancer diagnosis August 2018.
He led the family in praying for the many needs of the church, the mission fields and the extended family. He had a special heart for Israel and was able to visit there in 2008.
Rudy is preceded in death by his mother Olga, his father Reinhold and his sister Erna and brother in law Hans. He will be missed by his wife of 49 ½ years Linda, his children Kurt, Lisa, Stephen (Cristina) and Susan (Shannon), grandchildren Zoe, Connor, Gavin, Sebastian, Jared, Luke, Grace and Seth, his sister Anita, numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.
Rudolf “Rudy” Meier went home to be with his Savior around noon on January 10, 2019.. He is survived by his wife Linda and his children Kurt, Lisa, Stephen (Cristina) and Susan (Shannon) and 8 grandchildren. He will be missed by those who knew him.