Lifelong Islander rides off into the sunset

Courtesy photo Roger Meadows was surprised with cake and congratulations for his retirement.

Roger Meadows heads into retirement to enjoy paradise

Catalina Island can be a great place to retire. Lifelong islander Roger Meadows knows that, so since he recently retired, he has no plans to leave the place he’s always called home.

A group of residents recently surprised Roger on one of his last days of work at Catalina Flying Boats, with cake and a hearty congratulations on retirement. His wife Laura and some other residents, including Mayor Anni Marshall and her husband Billy were there to wish him well and thank him for providing service to residents and visitors for about 20 years at Flying Boats.

“I really appreciate what they did,” Roger said.

Roger worked for the company for about five years, but left for another job. Eventually, they approached him about returning and he agreed to return. He returned on Feb. 12, 2007 and recently surpassed his 15th year back.

He said the thing he liked most about the job was the people, both those he worked with and those he served as customers. He said the most satisfying thing was when someone came in with a problem, he loved when he was able to help them resolve the issue. And he loved working around the planes.

“I’m an airplane nut,” Roger said.

Roger was born and raised on Catalina. He met his wife when they both worked at the Catalina Island Marine Institute. They raised two children on the island, both adults now. Their son Robert lives in Lomida and their daughter Becca, lives in Torrance.

Roger has also been a photography nut, with thousands of pictures of Catalina stored away on discs. He loved to be up early to shoot the sunrise and when he could get to the interior he’d shoot some sunsets. But the wildlife and fauna were his frequent targets, especially spring flowers on the island. He’d also occasionally take on a wedding or other occasion for friends.

During the holidays, he and his wife are a big contributor to bringing joy to the occasion.

“He’s very jolly,” Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall said. “He’s just a delightful man.”

Marshall said that during one of the times she had a package to ship, that Roger helped her wrap it before packing it for delivery. She also noted that during his retirement party, people were coming into the office after closing and he happily helped them with their needs.

For now, Roger said he and Laura will stay involved in community functions. They have no immediate plans for retirement. They may travel, but they love the place they call home.

“We’ll see how it goes … it’s like being in paradise anyway,” Roger said.