ONEONTA – Barbara Meeks, 87, who worked on behalf of migrant workers and the rural poor, died Monday May 27, 2019, with her children at her side.
Born in Syracuse, May 19, 1932, she was the eldest child of John and Edna (Suarez) Horrocks.
During her childhood the family moved from Syracuse to South Buffalo and she received her Registered Nurse degree from Buffalo’s Millard Fillmore School of Nursing in 1953. She worked as an RN at the Millard Fillmore Hospital and at Lockport Memorial Hospital.
On June 9, 1956, she married John W. (Jack) Meeks Jr. of Newfane, Niagara County. Barb and Jack raised their four children in Newfane and, as her children began to leave home, Barb returned to nursing as a volunteer and eventually, after completing course work in sociology, as director of the Niagara County Migrant & Rural Health Clinic.
In 1986, she was recognized as one of the Western New York Citizens of the Year for her work on behalf of migrant workers and the health needs of the rural poor.
After retirement, she volunteered at the Iroquois National wildlife refuge, and when she and Jack relocated to Gilbertsville to be near family, she continued to volunteer at the Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne.
She and Jack also joined the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, where she particularly enjoyed working on the Mali Education Project, supporting education in Bamako, Mali, West Africa.
Barb survived by her brother, David (Martha) Horrocks; her children, Raymond (Ellen) Meeks, Jenny (Billy) Grimes, Marilyn (Jeffrey) Mutter, and Wendy (Jeffrey) Wood; grandchildren Phoebe Weiler, Brendon, Daniel (Alexandra) and Brian Meeks, Kendra (Bryan) Chenowith, Gregory (Madelynn) Mutter, Ryan and Spencer Wood, and great-granddaughter Corrine Chenowith.
She was predeceased by Jack, her husband of 57 years. A celebration of Barb’s life will be 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta with a brief reception to follow.
In lieu of floral arrangements, please donate in Barb’s memory to the Rogers Environmental Education Center (info@FriendsofRogers.org), to the Mali Project (UUSO, 16 Ford Ave, Oneonta, NY 13820, memo: Mali) or to a charity of your choice. Home grown or field flowers will be welcome on the table of remembrance.
Arrangements were entrusted to Johnston’s Funeral Home, Morris.