Thomas H. Meyer
Lincolnville — Thomas Herman Meyer, farmer and founder of Florida-based mortgage company Homebuilders Financial Network (HFN), died peacefully at home in Miami, Fla. Oct. 31, 2012. He was 62.
Born in West Orange, N.J. and raised in Elkins Park, Pa., Tom graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1968. He went on to Syracuse University where he received a bachelor of the arts in philosophy and was active in the anti-war movement. Tom's enrollment at Syracuse was interrupted by long stints of adventure and life abroad. Tom studied in Italy and traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, often via motorcycle. Upon graduation, Tom moved to Kirkland Farm in Bucks County, Pa. where he and his first wife, Louise, developed a thriving firewood retailing business. Tom went on to successfully farm 1,600 acres of soybean, wheat, barley and corn; selling to Frank Purdue and other exporters. Enhanced by a partnership with his father, Lou, Tom derived great fulfillment from farming, which he considered a mystical pursuit.
After 12 years of farming, Tom enrolled in the inaugural class of the Lauder Institute at the Wharton School of Business. In 1986 he received a masters in business administration/master of arts in international affairs. With a language focus of Portuguese, he held agribusiness internships in Brazil and Curacao. Post-graduation, Tom joined a number of entrepreneurial ventures including DNA Plant Technologies and Cholesterol Control Centers.
In 1990 Tom moved to Miami to work for the Kislak Organization, a real estate investment company, which is where he met Linda, his wife and life partner. Tom and Linda co-founded HFN, a national, real-estate-finance solution based in Miami Lakes, Fla. They sold HFN to Fidelity National Financial in 2002 and retired. Tom remained active in the mortgage business as a member of the Kislak Organization’s board of directors. In 2003 Tom and Linda established the Vicki M. Israel and Joan F. and Louis H. Meyer Endowed Scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania. Tom also supported the Diabetes Research Institute through charitable giving.
In retirement Tom fulfilled a lifelong dream of exploring the world by water. He boated from Brazil to Maine and throughout the Mediterranean with friends and family and spent an increasing amount of time at his lake home in Lincolnville. In Midcoast Maine, Tom forged great friendships and enjoyed nothing more than sitting on his dock looking out onto Lake Megunticook. It was on that dock, during a respite of good health this past summer, that Tom said, “sometimes I have to pinch myself because I’m the luckiest guy alive.”
Tom is survived by his wife and partner of 21 years, Linda Barrocas-Meyer of Miami, his former wife and mother of his children, Louise Walker Rose (nee Louise Harrington Walker) of Wilmington, N.C., his daughters Kristin Meyer and Alessandra Meyer of Brooklyn, N.Y., and step-sons Frank Mainade and Eric Mainade of Miami. Tom is preceded in death by his father and best friend, Louis Meyer, mother, Joan Meyer and sister Vicki Israel. Over the course of a lifetime, Tom was father to canines Cynthia, Chacula, Bailey, Rufus and Wally. He was known to believe that the window to the soul was through a dog’s eyes.
A celebration of Tom's life will take place in Lincolnville early summer 2013, details will be announced. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, pancan.org, 877-272-6226, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 or Active Minds, activeminds.org, (202) 332-9595 or Active Minds, Inc., c/o Tonya Augustine 2001 S Street, NW, Suite 450 Washington, D.C. 20009.