Jeffrey Derrik Meltzer, beloved husband, father and grandfather passed on to another adventure July 8, 2019 at his home in Idyllwild, California. Jeff was born July 24, 1941 in San Diego to Jack Edward and Virginia Dell Meltzer.
Jeff graduated from San Diego Hoover High School in 1959. During his teens and into his 20s, Jeff spent most of his time at or in the ocean. His big joy was crewing on a 4-mast schooner, twice for the annual Ensenada, Mexico race. He also owned a Lido 14 sailboat.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Jeff joined the army. He went to the Airborne School 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles). He trained as a helicopter mechanic and parachutist. He had 13 jumps to be proud of.
When Jeff’s tour in the army ended, he returned home to San Diego. He attended San Diego City College while working at the San Diego Zoo as a tour bus driver. He threw bread to the bears and told stories to his passengers.
Wanting an adventure, he and a friend in 1966 hopped on a bus to Denver, Colorado. There, he met and married Nancy Williams. After they returned to San Diego, Jeff and Nancy purchased six acres of undeveloped land in the back country of San Diego County.
Jeff could accomplish anything he set his mind to and he built a two-and-a-half story, 4,220 square-foot home for his family. He accomplished this while working for Pac Bell, and later, AT&T Telephone Company.
After 25 years and having raised three sons, Jeff retired. He and Nancy moved “to town.” He and Nancy moved to Idyllwild. He installed and maintained numerous phone systems in real estate offices, the fire department and businesses all over the hill and beyond.
Jeff helped keep the Gastrognome up and running. Some wondered who that bearded man was sitting at table 51, his favorite table, or inside at the bar eating his favorite lunch of black beans and sausage soup while huddling over a sudoku puzzle.
Jeff loved the ocean — swimming or sailing — it didn’t matter. He enjoyed watching NFL games, particularly the Chargers. He also loved playing card games with his family and poker with his buddies.
Jeff with his slow, easy-going manner is survived by his wife Nancy of 35 years, his three sons Justin, Derrik and Karson, six grandsons, one sister and brother-in-law, one nephew and many friends.
Please join Jeff’s family and friends in a celebration of his life on Aug. 24, 2019 at 5 p.m. at Calvary Chapel located at 29374 Highway 243, Mountain Center. Please bring your favorite finger food to share.