The last few years of his life after retiring from a long teaching career, Ted Meckstroth lived alone in his home in Milwaukee, Wis. Surrounded by his books, he continued his research in politics for his own interest and kept company with the musicians in his huge collection of jazz and classical records and CDs.
He passed away Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at his home, because of natural causes. He was 79.
My brother, Theodore Wallace Meckstroth, was born April 4, 1940, in Spokane, to Erna Lillian Meckstroth, who later became a reporter and then society editor and feature writer for the Lewiston Morning Tribune, and Carl Wallace Meckstroth. We moved to Lewiston in 1950. With our big backyard, we were the go-to place for baseball games evenings until dusk, but on hot summer days, it was sprinkler wars.
Ted was elected junior high president. In high school, he participated in debate and drama, played trumpet in band and swing band, cello in orchestra, and directed C band. Jazz emanated from Ted’s bedroom, always loud, often until late into the night or early morning.
Ted’s other love was politics. The night of the ’56 election, he followed the radio broadcast, covering pages of newsprint with statistics from each state until they carpeted the basement.
In 1958, Ted graduated from Lewiston High School. After enrolling in Whitman College at Walla Walla and graduating cum laude in 1962, he pursued a master’s at the University of Minnesota. By 1965, he had completed his master’s, begun a doctorate and married Josette Filippi.
In 1967, he joined the Political Science Department at Ohio State, then left in 1974 to become an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, where he retired in 2014.
Mark Etheridge, head of the Political Science Department at UW, wrote, “His 1974 article in the American Journal of Political Science, ‘Some Problems in Cross-Level Inference,’ is still used and cited by scholars contributing to theoretical work in comparative politics. Ted taught at all levels in political science at UW in Milwaukee, including undergraduate courses in political theory and research methods, and a core graduate course, ‘Scope and Methods of Political Science.’ ”
Ted is survived by his beloved daughter, Caroline Suzanne; and two granddaughters, Opal Love and Scarlet Jasmin Bee Persephone Love. He will be missed by them and his many friends, colleagues, former students, relatives and by me, his sister, Myrna Lynn (Meckstroth) Vanderburg.