Robert H. Meinke, a builder, former East Hampton Town highway superintendent and assessor, and lifelong resident of East Hampton, died on Oct. 28 at the Kanas Center for Hospice Care in Quiogue. He was 94.
A master carpenter, Mr. Meinke applied his skills as a craftsman to the restoration of the Pantigo Mill in 1978. His keen interest in government and politics later led to his public service -- he served as town assessor in 1980 and 1981, deputy highway superintendent from 1982 to 1985, and highway superintendent from 1986 to 1989.
He enjoyed the beauty and simple pleasures of his hometown, said former Supervisor Larry Cantwell, his son-in-law, and this inspired poetry, photography, and paintings. Mr. Meinke published his first of four books of poems in 1986, and it included his paintings. Whether ice-skating the winter ponds, fishing and swimming the waters, or hunting the forest and marshes, the landscape provided a constant influence, his family said.
Robert Meinke was born in East Hampton on July 23, 1926. His father was Henry Frederick Meinke. He graduated from East Hampton High School and was the first recipient of the Paul Yuska Award, given to the most outstanding senior athlete. He was an enthusiastic golfer and a founding member of the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett, where he won the club championship a number of times.
He and Dorothy M. Miller, who traced her ancestry in East Hampton back 11 generations, were married on Oct. 26, 1947. They settled in Amagansett, where they brought up three daughters. Mrs. Meinke died in 1990.
Mr. Meinke's daughters, Anne Cantwell of East Hampton, Kathleen Meinke of Amagansett, and Carol Isaacson of Closter, N.J., survive. Three grandchildren, Lara Siska of East Hampton, Marni Hughes of Larchmont, N.Y., and Luke Isaacson of Closter also survive, as do three great-grandchildren, Bruce Avery Siska and Chase Siska of East Hampton and Forest Hughes of Larchmont. A sister died before him.
A graveside service was held on Saturday at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery in East Hampton, the Rev. Ryan Creamer officiating.
Mr. Meinke's family has suggested memorial contributions to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978, or eeh.org.