Philip E. Meltzer, 94, died last Saturday, August 8, 2020. He died in the same room in the same house where he was born on June 13, 1926. He was the son of Brady and Louise (Worland) Meltzer. On January 5, 1952, he eloped with Charlene Jordan of New Palestine, Indiana, and she preceded him in death on April 7, 2006 after 54 years of marriage.
Philip was born on the family farm east of Shelbyville. It has been in the Meltzer family for over 150 years. As a boy he enjoyed playing in the woods with his sisters.
His oldest sister Betty first read “A Visit from St. Nicholas” to Philip when he was a little boy. It was his favorite poem. Every Christmas Eve, Philip enjoyed reciting the poem from memory to all of the children in the family.
As an adult, he was interested in preserving nature for future generations. This life’s work was completed four years ago when Meltzer Woods was dedicated to the public.
Philip had many interests beyond nature preservation including physics, astronomy, politics, and poetry. He had a peaceful and loving spirit and a great sense of humor.
Philip was a philanthropist giving to so many causes that his mailman, Rock Robertson, once quipped, “Phil, you receive so much mail from charities that you must have enough free personalized address labels to go around the earth 3 times.”
Philip is survived by his older sister, Betty Boilek, of Carmel IN; one son, Kris (wife, Sandy) Meltzer, and one daughter, Karen Meltzer, and son-in-law, Tony Armstrong both of Shelbyville. He is also survived by two grandsons, Trent Meltzer (wife Jenny) and Derek Armstrong; one granddaughter, Vanessa Armstrong; and 6 great grandchildren, all of Shelbyville.
Philip was preceded in death by one grandson, Zane Meltzer, and his sister Martha Spalding of Shelbyville.
Philip graduated from Waldron High School in 1944. He was a WWII veteran serving in the 390th Military Police in Belgium and Germany. He farmed in Shelby County for 50 years. He was a member of St. Vincent Catholic Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and a former member of the Veterans Honor Guard.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Vincent Catholic Church, 4218 E. Michigan Road in Shelbyville on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 11 a.m. visitation will be for one hour prior to the mass.
Philip often quoted poet Langston Hughes who famously said, “Life is for the living.” In these days of the coronavirus, the Meltzer family very much wants all of you to remain among the living. If you cannot attend, in the alternative, take a walk in Meltzer Woods, commune with nature, and think of Philip.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Philip’s memory to assist in the management of Meltzer Woods. Send donations to:
Central Indiana Land Trust
1500 N. Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St., Shelbyville, Indiana.
Online condolences may be shared with Philip’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.