James Farra Van Meter

Retired general surgeon and member of first Urban-County Council, died Tuesday at Good Samaritan Hospital of a respiratory ailment, age 79; native of Lexington; served twenty years as director of the Cancer Clinic at Good Samaritan Hospital and was president of the staff; also served on the staffs of Central Baptist and St. Joseph hospitals during more than thirty years practice here; ran for Urban-County Council at age 72; [h]e was more than a close friend. He was someone I admired greatly,  said ex-Mayor Pettit. Dr. VanMeter was one of the most outstanding members of this community ever. He spent his entire life serving Lexington in various ways. When he spoke, people listened. . . . His wisdom and stature carried many an issue, and no one ever questioned his integrity or sincerity. J. Scott Yellman, another member of the clean government ticket, said I'm very sorry to hear of his death. He was a great person. He was somewhat older than the rest of us, and he used to call us his boys. He was always very enthusiastic about everything we tried to do. He took a great interest in everything, even issues that you would expect to be of more concern to some of us than to him; served for 17 years as secretary of the staff at St. Joseph Hospital; received the distinguished service award of the Kentucky Medical Association in 1974, its highest honor; Special Achievement award for the Kentucky division of the American Cancer Society in 1957; Optimist Cup in 1958;
served on the Lexington and state boards of health; two terms as chairman of the board of directors of the Southeast Regional YMCA, YMCA man of the year in 1961; a board chairman at Sayre School; political career was two years on the Lexington City Council, and four years as at-large member on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, merger commission that led to the Urban County Government; served as ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, U.S., for thirty years, served on General Council, and was chairman of the General Council for three years; member Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church; Sertoma Club's Service to Mankind award; served as president of the Kentucky Conference of Christians and Jews; son of late William Scott and Anna Farra VanMeter, resident of 17 Mentelle Park; survivors, wife, Harriet D. VanMeter, daughter, Mrs. David Kasanof, son, James F. VanMeter, Jr.

From: Lexington Herald, p. D-1, Wednesday, December 6, 1978.

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