The Curry Coastal Pilot

Former Curry County Veterans' Service Officer and County Commissioner candidate Frank Van Meter passed away at his Gold Beach home on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012. He was 53.

Frank was born Aug. 20, 1958, in Shreveport, La., to Albert and Neva (Wilder) Van Meter. He grew up in the Portland area.

At the age of 17, Frank entered the U.S. Army where he served for 23 years in various capacities including field artillery, missile defense and as a drug and alcohol counselor and policy maker. Frank retired as a Sergeant First Class on Jan. 1, 2001. He returned to Portland where he attended and graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor's degree.

In 2005, he moved to Curry County where he took on the role of the county veterans' service officer. He did that until retiring in September of 2011. In November 2011, and in continuing his near lifelong role in public service, Frank filed as a candidate for Curry County Commissioner.

He enjoyed traveling all over the world including a recent trip to Europe with his companion, Amanda. He also loved raising chickens and his Chevy truck. Frank was a life-member of the Elks Lodge and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of AmVets.

Survivors include his daughters, Laura Autry of Portland, Anna Van Meter of Flagstaff, Ariz.; son Joshua Van Meter of Flagstaff; stepson Bob Heick of Portland; mother Neva Van Meter of Portland; loving companion Amanda Cooke of Gold Beach; brothers Paul Van Meter of Missouri and Mark Van Meter of Portland; sister Connie Rubenstein of Ohio; son-in-law Jacob Autry; and grandson Caleb Autry.

Frank was preceded in death by his father.

In Lieu of Flowers donations can be made to continue to serve the veterans of Curry county via an account established at Chase Bank in the name of Frank's oldest daughter Laura Autry.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at the Lents Baptist Church, 5921 S.E. 88th Ave. in Portland. Interment will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at the Rogue River Cemetery, Hunter Creek Loop, in Gold Beach, with a memorial service following at the Brookings Elks Lodge at 3 p.m.

Condolences may be expressed online at

Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.