Michael Meese, 1954-2009


Michael Meese, a veteran law enforcement officer who played a key role in solving the Polly Klaas case, died Nov. 23, 2009, at the age of 55. Courtesy photo.





Mike Meese, April 25, 1954 - Nov. 23, 2009. Mike passed away peacefully at his home in Kelseyville on Nov. 23. Mike was born in Detroit and raised in Libertyville, Ill. At 17 he joined the Army to serve his country and to fulfill his ambition and dream to serve as a military policeman.

He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College in 1993 and the University of San Francisco in 1996 with his Masters Degree in Public Administration.

Mike began his career in law enforcement in 1981 with the Petaluma Police Department, working his way quickly up the ranks and being promoted to sergeant in just six short years. During that time he also served as SWAT Supervisor and Watch Commander. He also was the lead investigator on the Polly Klaas case, finding key evidence and using his influence to garner a confession from the perpetrator.

After 15 years and the conclusion of the Polly Klaas case, Mike left to join the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office staff as an investigator in 1996. Mike’s career led him next to take a position first as the Assistant Chief of the University of Nevada Reno Police Force and then eventually finishing his law enforcement career as Chief of the Hopland Rancheria of Public Safety in Mendocino County.

Mike joined the Santa Rosa Junior College faculty in 1987 and became a full time administration of justice instructor in 2006, receiving tenure in November.

Mike loved going fifth wheeling with his wife Michelle and other members of his family; he was passionate about cooking and reading anything that had to do with military ships, planes or tanks.

Mike is survived by his loving and devoted wife and best friend, Michelle; his sisters, Mindy Beers and Marilyn Rasco; his devoted children, Todd and his wife Sheri Meese of Hidden Valley Lake, and Frank Meese of Reno, Nev.; his adoring grandchildren, Victoria Meese, who he and Michelle had been raising for most of her life, Jolon Cisneros, Tiyanna Meese, Ceceilia Meese and Kendra Meese.

Michelle’s love and dedication gave him the support and encouragement he needed to live life to the fullest, an inspiration to us all. His family, friends and community will miss him.

A celebration of Michael Meese’s life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12, starting at 1 p.m. in Burbank Auditorium on the Santa Rosa Junior College Campus.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any contributions be made to either the college fund for Victoria Meese or to the Debra D. Meese Scholarship Fund through the SRJC Foundation, 1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa CA 95401.