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Former mayor Carl Meseck dies at 81

May 23, 2012|By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Carl Meseck, a former mayor of Glendale who served on the City Council for 12 years, has died. He was 81.

Meseck died on May 16 in Portland, Ore. after a long illness, according to his family.

Born Albert Carl Meseck on June 26, 1930, in Sheboygan, Wis., Meseck was the second of six children born to Esther and Albert Meseck.

After graduating from UCLA in 1952, Meseck would work as a fundraiser for the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA. Many knew him locally as “Mr. Snowman” from the YMCA’s annual Christmas tree fundraiser he helped establish.

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Meseck would later work for the Glendale YMCA alongside Don Galleher, an 80-year-old Glendale resident who worked under the former mayor for 17 years. Galleher recalls Meseck as a kind, community-oriented man.

“He was the kind of person that was constantly helping people out,” Galleher said. “If he’d see somebody that was down and out, he’d hand them money or find them a job — whatever it took for that person to get them on their feet.”

As chief executive of the Glendale YMCA, Meseck played a large role in raising funds to transform Camp Fox on Catalina Island from a barren piece of land to a premier camp for youth. He managed the fundraising that would provide the camp’s new dining hall, and permanent villas with roofs where tents previously had been pitched.

“He thought lives could be changed at Camp Fox,” Galleher said. “He loved to see boys and girls get off to the right start in life. He believed in camping with his whole heart and soul.”

Meseck served as Glendale’s mayor for two terms. The first was from April 1973 to April 1974, the second was from October 1974 to April 1975 during his 12 years on City Council.

Meseck was also a long-serving board member on what is now the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

He had three children with his first wife Sherry — Scott, Laurie and Reed. He would later marry Sandy and raise her daughters, Kim, Lesley and Stacey, as his own, according to a notice from his family.

In 1984, Meseck would move with Sandy to Oregon, where he pursued his passion for growing and selling Christmas trees on a piece of land the couple purchased outside of Silver Falls.

His family issued a statement that said Meseck was “meticulous for the perfect tree and loved his time in Oregon.”

Meseck is survived by his wife, six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Private family services were held in Oregon.

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