Joseph John Meese


Joseph John Meese, age 71, of Duluth, died Friday, March 17, 2023 at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was born in Davenport, IA December 5, 1951 to Jane A. (VanAusdall) and Robert A. Meese Sr.

He married Cheryl Dawson, his high school sweetheart, August 19th, 1973 at Cheryl’s childhood home near Burlington, Iowa.

Joe attended the University of Iowa and graduated as a Registered Pharmacist. He spent the majority of his career as a Compounding Pharmacist and owned Prescription Specialties in Duluth. He was driven to find new ways to help people and his compounding practice allowed him to excel in doing so. Helping women who were not able to maintain a pregnancy was his first mission. He kept a box of notes from many of the women who he had helped to become mothers. Later, he helped many of the same women deal with their menopausal symptoms. He created a method of delivering the needed medication to a Cockatiel with an anxiety disorder; he created a triple fish paste that made it possible to deliver medication to a cat without being left shredded and bloody; he developed a Lolly-pop delivery system to provide pain relief for children who had tonsillectomies; he prepared medications for people who had allergies to preservatives or needed a dosage not available commercially. He even helped Berlin, the polar bear at the Duluth Zoo with pain management, after she broke her arm. There was not a pharmaceutical challenge he was not excited to address.

Joe received his first Ham radio license when he was 14 years old. He was an active member of the Arrowhead Radio Amateur Club (ARAC)for many years and spent many days and nights providing communication support for the John Beargrease Sled-Dog Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon. He hosted Winter and Summer Field Day’s at his home, and on more than one occasion provided communication assistance into and out of areas hit by natural disasters. Joe served on the Summit School Board of Directors, served on the Program and Operations Committee of Animal Allies Humane Society, and was a member of the Kitchi Gammi Club Foundation Board of Directors. Joe was an Adjunct Professor in the UMD College of Pharmacy and acted as a mentor for Pharmacy students for many years. Joe and Cheryl served as fosters for Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota for many years and only adopted 2 of their fosters.

Joe was preceded in death by his father Robert Sr.

He is survived by his wife Cheryl, his daughter Michel (Lawrence) Trujillo of Duluth, his son Patrick (Alexandra) Meese of Chattanooga, TN and his daughter Stacey Meese of Statesville, NC; six grandchildren: Connor, Andrea, Donny, Leon, Elijah and Abby; his mother Jane Meese of Houston, TX; brothers Robert (Anne) Meese, Jr of San Clemente, CA and Andrew (Judy) Meese of Houston; and special friends Tim Ferch, Scott and Cindy Hedlund, Patty Oakes, Maynard Goff, MJ Wagner, and Terry Lueders.

Special thanks to the staff at Marywood at the Benedictine Health Center for their compassionate caring and fondness for Joe; to the Comfort Care nurses and Staff at St. Luke’s Hospital who were so attentive to Joe’s care and their care of Joe’s family; to the Normanna Township Volunteer Fire department who were always so professional and caring when helping Joe in our home; to Dr. Mast, who’s heart is as big as Lake Superior; and for the tireless support of our loving friends and family.

Visitation will be Friday, April 14th, from 4 to 7:00 pm at Dougherty Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Animal Allies, DSSO or Gary-New Duluth Alliance. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E. Second St., Duluth, 218-727-3555

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