FLORENCE — June 8, 1927–Feb. 20, 2018
Arthur Maier, 90, was born on June 8, 1927, in Plevna to Fred and Katarina (Bitz) Maier. Art was the sixth of eight children born to German immigrants. His grandpa's folks came from Russia and his grandmother's parents were German living in the Odessa region of Russia. They came to America in the early 1900s and were married in South Dakota. He attended school in Pablo, Big Arm in a one room school house, and later at Target Range School during the 1939 and '40 school years. He lived 10 miles out of town, so he rode a bicycle to school every day. Around that time, Art and his sister Pauline moved to town, for seven cents a line.
Arthur quit school in his junior year to go work. He went to Kellogg, Idaho where he got a job in a zinc plant. His job was dipping honeycomb objects in acid where it would collect the zinc. After a short stint in Kellogg he went to work in the orchards in Yakima, Washington where he picked pears and pruned trees. While in Yakima, Art stayed with his cousins and aunt and uncle in Wiley City. After three years from 1945 to '48 he went back to Kellogg and worked in the smelter.
In 1950 Arthur was drafted into the U.S. Army and was sent to Germany for two years. Having German parents who spoke German while he was growing up, he could talk to the German people there. When he first got to Germany with his unit Art purchased a book with French, German and Spanish grammar in it to brush up on his German. He liked to joke with his Army buddies and tell them that he learned his German from that book he purchased! During this time the Korean War was going on and his company figured that they would be going there to help in the war effort but they were never called. While in the Army, Art got his GED and when he was honorably discharged he went back to Kellogg and worked in the smelter for about two months. Then he decided to go to Spokane for telegraph school. When he finished his schooling there he got on at the Great Northern Railroad as a telegrapher and worked for 35 years at posts like Fort Wright, Fairchild, Blue Stem, Odessa, Wilson Creek, Ephrata, Quincy, Apple Yard and Wenatchee, Washington. He liked his work and stayed until he retired. After his retirement he lived in Lynnwood, Washington, Columbus, Ohio, Spokane, Washington, Northern Idaho, Huntsville, Texas and finally to Florence. His final move was to live with his nephew and his nephew's wife, Warren and Irena Oie. While living there he enjoyed travelling to Florida, Glacier Park and several other places. His love for traveling never diminished. Then in 2013 Arthur had cataract surgery on both eyes to see better but about that same time he fell and broke his hip, but that didn't keep him down long and soon he was up and walking again. Art lived in Florence for seven years until he got throat cancer and passed away on Feb. 20, 2018.
Art is survived by his younger sisters, Pauline (89) of Portland, Oregon and Lillian (87) of Spokane.
He was a kind and caring soul and he will be missed by friends and family.
Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held in April with full military honors at the Fort Missoula Cemetery.