Biography of Leo John Meissner, 1895 - 1977... Remembering...

Remembering Leo Meissner
(Leo John Meissner, 1895 - 1977)
The Pomnitz Family Name

Leo John Meissner was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 28, 1895.  His father and mother, Franz and Maria, had two other sons, John Charles Meissner and Frank Meissner.   He had been a Drummer and an Ambulance Driver for the American Friends Field Service during W.W. I.  Leo died near his winter place in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in June of 1977, just after renewing his driver's license.  He was driving home and, evidently, felt the heart attack coming on.  He pulled over to the side of the road, turned off the ignition and died clutching the steering wheel.

Leo Meissner in France during W.W.I"Uncle Leo" was in WWI and was a drummer.  When I was in WWII, I was transferred to Manhattan Beach for cooks and baker school.  This gave me the opportunity to visit Uncle Leo and Aunt Mildred as they lived in Yonkers, New York at the time.

I don't know when Aunt Mildred died but some years later he met Bunny (Berniece) and married her.  For some years he was art editor for Motor Boating Magazine.  He did beautiful wood engraving.  He liked to use end grain boxwood and where possible, he took advantage of the grain and worked it into his engravings.  We have a number of his works and really appreciate them.

Leo Meissner Engraving WoodThey (Leo and Bunny) had a home on the mainland in Cape Elizabeth, for the winter and a place on Monhegan Island for the summer.  The island was an artist's island and the homeowners governed it so they could keep it that way.  The engravings he did were very fine work.  As he had them near completion, he would make test prints to be sure he had the composition he wanted.  Then he would make limited prints.  When this was accomplished he would destroy the block by carving grooves in the face of the block.


Contributed by John Charles Meissner, Jr.

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Last Update:  Monday, January 21, 2013