Virginia Meyer loved to learn and yearned for a college degree, so she went back to college at 67 years of age.
Meyer earned her bachelor’s 10 years later, in 2000, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She died Sunday at a skilled nursing center in the Elkhorn area at 96.
Meyer, originally of Gordon, Nebraska, had a long career in Lincoln as an executive secretary and retired in 1988. Her son, Dr. Galen Meyer of Omaha, said she was antsy in retirement.
“She was a type A-plus personality,” Galen Meyer said. She and husband Robert decided that she was excellent college material, so she enrolled at UNL.
Galen Meyer said she had some credit hours from attending the University of Denver for a while as a young woman. She took a part-time load at UNL, he said, and enjoyed studying and writing papers.
“She worked hard,” he said. “It was great, getting to see her graduate.”
UNL records indicate that from summer 1996 through fall 2018, two people in their 80s, two in their 70s, and 17 in their 60s received bachelor’s degrees.
She and her husband also traveled throughout North America and Europe. Daughter-in-law Mary Meyer called her “a lifelong learner.”
Mary Meyer said her mother-in-law enjoyed reading and was frustrated when she lost much of her sight in old age.
Virginia Meyer wanted tasks done well. “She was meticulous,” Mary Meyer said. “It was almost impossible to wrap Christmas presents with her. She had a whole process and a table.”
Besides son Galen, Meyer is survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives.
The funeral will take place 11 a.m. May 25 at Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home at 4040 A. St. in Lincoln. Memorials may be directed to the Nebraska Alzheimer’s Association in honor of her late husband.
Her granddaughter Michelle Meyer graduated from UNL early this month. Two days before Virginia Meyer died, Michelle and family members visited her in the nursing home. They took photos of Michelle in her graduation gown with Virginia, and the family’s commitment to learning lived on.
Sign up for The World-Herald's afternoon updates
Receive a summary of the day’s popular and trending stories from Omaha.com.
1 of 20
Claire Wickenhauser was well-known for her festive cake decorations at Emminger's Bakery, which she owned with her husband Ted. She died Dec. 30, 2018, at age 94. Read more
"Mean" Gene Okerlund, a gentlemanly wrestling announcer who specialized in interviewing the biggest, loudest and most obnoxious professional grapplers in the business, died Jan. 2 at age 76. Read more
Dr. Michael Patrick Metz was a noted pathologist and specialist who was a native of Omaha but spent most of his career in Australia. He died in Adelaide on Oct. 2 at age 63. Read more
For 25 years, Tom Marfisi provided trust and credibility as the City of Omaha’s labor relations director, say those who worked with him and negotiated against him. He died Dec. 31, 2018, at age 71. Read more
Retired Lt. Gen. Leo Dulacki, an Omaha native, served in the Marine Corps from 1941 to 1974, including a combat tour during the Korean war and two more during the Vietnam War. He died Jan. 4 at age 100. Read more
Robert Gregg Hoig, who survived a critical illness at 2 that cost him a kidney but then lived an active life of swimming, skiing and tennis, died Jan. 7 at age 86. Read more
Helen "Hani" Kenefick, wife of former Union Pacific president John Kenefick, died Jan. 7 at age 93. A longtime supporter of Sacred Heart School in Omaha, she also served on the boards of St. Joseph's Hospital, the College of St. Mary and volunteered at the Joslyn Museum. Read more
Del Weber served as UNO's chancellor from 1977 to 1997, a period of maturation and growth for the campus. He died Jan. 11 at age 86. Read more
Maj. Gen. Edward Binder fought in World War II and led the Nebraska Guard from 1977 to 1983. He died Jan. 7 at age 95. Read more
Harry A. Koch Jr. was known in business circles for leading the insurance brokerage his father founded in 1916 for more than 40 years; He expanded and modernized it before selling it to another local family-owned company in 2004. Koch died Feb. 24 at age 89 due to complications from a fall in November.
Businessman and philanthropist Lee Sapp, who co-founded the Sapp Bros. travel center chain with his three brothers, died March 30. He was 90. Sapp and his brothers Bill, Ray and Dean started the Sapp Bros. chain with a gas station on a plot of land at Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highway 50 in 1971. Read more
Dennis “Whitey” Mixan, 62, of Bellevue was a “terrible” high school wrestler but ended up the father of four state champions. And while Mixan loved to play guitar, other amateur guitarists sometimes outperformed him for a spot in Friday night jam sessions. But he kept playing and even built his own guitars, said his son Mike Mixan of Omaha. Read more
An ability to stay cool under pressure served Eugene “Gene” Beran, 88, well during his 27 years as a World-Herald editor. Beran, who came to the World-Herald in 1966 and retired in 1993, was the regional editor overseeing coverage of the Nebraska Legislature and state government. Read more
William “Bill” Sapp of Ashland, Nebraska, was the last surviving brother of the four co-founders of Sapp Bros. Inc., a national chain of travel centers and more. Sapp, 86, died less than a week after his brother Lee’s death on March 30. Read more
Most people knew David Deao as the owner of The Winery, a great little spot for buying wine and grabbing a made-from-scratch lunch. But Deao, 64, was also known for his enthusiasm for life and for his companionship, love and devotion. Read more
Cherrie Anderson was a pioneer who brought aerobic dancing to Omaha in the 1970s. Her dance studio, the Cherrie Anderson School of Music and Dance, has taught generations of children. Anderson died on April 5. Services were held April 10. Read more
Frank Matthews, a former president of the Omaha Bar Association, enjoyed a distinguished law career of 40 years. He and the former Helen Spencer, his wife of 67 years, also raised eight children in the Dundee neighborhood. Read more
William “Bill” G. Campbell IV, who co-founded in Omaha the firm that’s now known nationally as Kutak Rock, died April 13. He was 84. The longtime attorney is remembered for his sharp legal mind and mentorship of young lawyers, but also for being a renaissance man who loved to read, hunt and cook a good meal. Read more
Thomas L. Kielty, 80, worked for decades at the Omaha World-Herald in advertising, circulation and marketing, rising to director of circulation and president of a subsidiary, World Enterprises. But it was his family that he prioritized. Read more
Richard “Rick’’ Wenninghoff, a cousin to the Wenninghoff Farm family in Omaha, died April 22 at age 72. He had retired from farming in the Crescent, Iowa, area several years ago. Before retiring, he grew corn and soybeans and lots of vegetables that he would sell at the farmers market in Council Bluffs. Read more