In life, Trenton Meyer stayed active. He worked as a sheepherder, backcountry guide and miner before starting his own oil field service business.
He was also a fanatical archery hunter, and then, after taking up arm wrestling relatively late in life, he won four world championships in that sport.
So it is fitting, in the wake of his death at the age of 50 in August, that friends of Meyer and his family are organizing a four-event Health and Fitness Expo to create a college fund for Meyer’s three young daughters.
The all-day expo is set for Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Radisson Hotel Convention Center, 5500 Midland Road in Billings. One event, scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be the first Trenton Meyer Classic Armwrestling Tournament, with different divisions and classes for men and women competitors.
Yellowstone Crossfit will be sponsoring the Better Than Before Throwdown, from 8:30 to 4:30. It is being billed as a power lifting competition for the average athlete. Fitness 416 is sponsoring a non-sanctioned Beast of the Barbells competition from 9 to 4.
The fourth event is the Montana Santa Shuffle, a 5K race that will start at 9 a.m. at the convention center. Details on registering and competing in all four events are available on the Health and Fitness Expo Facebook page.
The expo was started by friends of the Meyer family, according to co-founder Kristine Brady. Although this inaugural event will benefit the Meyer family, Brady said, starting next year, in a partnership with the Laurel Jaycees, it will be held annually and will support a different cause each year.
Brady, who is 29, said she had known Meyer her whole life. He discovered arm wrestling in 1988 in a local bar and soon was involved in competition. It so happens that Brady’s mother is Denise Wattles, of Billings, director of the U.S. Armwrestling Association.
Brady said her mother got Meyer involved in competitive arm wrestling and he went on to win many state and national titles as well as the four world championships.
She said Meyer and his wife, Jody, lived in Laurel when they first met and in 2004 they moved to Red Desert, Wyo., to start a business. Meyer became ill with a rare T-cell lymphoma cancer, and four or five months before his death, they moved to Laurel to be close to Jody’s parents.
Proceeds from the Dec. 17 expo will be used to build a college scholarship fund that has been established at Western Security Bank of Laurel. It will benefit the Meyers’ three daughters, Tess, 7, Timber, 2, and Teigan, 1. Donations can also be made online.