Vibrant, generous and kind. Those are the words a longtime friend is using to describe Vaughn and JoAnn Meyer. The Meyers died in the Christmas day plane crash. Vaughn was a retired plastic surgeon and KELOLAND News is hearing from a man who worked alongside him for more than a decade.
Like any pilot, Vaughn Meyer loved the feeling of flying.
“If I went into his office, and started talking to him about anything, and if being a pilot came out, I knew I was going to be in his office for another 30 minutes because he could talk about that all day long,” Dr. James Anthony Breit said.
Breit worked with Vaughn at Plastic Surgery Associates of South Dakota, and says the two became good friends.
“He was really good with patients. He was conscientious, you know. He spent time with them and he loved what he did,” Breit said.
That included spending time with his wife, JoAnn. Breit calls them a team.
“It seemed like everybody who talked to her, who didn’t know her before, they’d come away like, ‘What a neat lady.’ She was very, very nice. Very nice. Very easy to talk to,” Breit said.
The Christmas plane crash has silenced the Meyers, but Breit says their loved ones will never stop speaking up about the type of people they were and how they treated others.
“It’s just kind of surreal when you think of a guy and his wife who were as vibrant as they were,” Breit said.
Stories have come out about how the Meyers gave back to the community. Previously, we told you about how they donated more than a million dollars to build a performing arts center and chapel. Breit says Vaughn was also instrumental in bringing reconstructive surgery to Sioux Falls and helped teach area doctors how to treat burns. A funeral has not yet been announced.
Vaughn and JoAnn Meyer took their last flight, but Breit says they left their mark on everyone they met here on the ground.
“It’s hard to be without them.” Breit said. “Definitely lived life to the fullest.”