The last of the “Greatest Generation” is passing like the leaves of Fall!
Edith Tisinger Meeks, age 93, passed into Heaven at Eastwood Nursing Home Negaunee, MI. on Monday, April 30th, 2018. Born December 20, 1924, the third of four siblings on a country farm near Ashburn, GA, delivered by a midwife of Perry and Lexie Tisinger during the period just before the depression. Raised on the family farm, she milked cows, raised chickens, tended the vegetable garden, picked cotton, took care of her younger sister, and attended school in a one room schoolhouse before graduating high school in the “big city” of Ashburn, where she played basketball and worked for the county assessor’s office as a clerk mailing out tax notices--all by age 16.
She then left for training under the Sisters of Mercy at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA, during the first years of WWII when all the men went to war. She served as a scrub nurse in the surgery at Grady until she met and married Bob Will Meek(s), a returning veteran of the Pacific War whose service included fighting at Port Moresby, Lei, and Nadzab in 1946. He suffered from the lasting effects of Malaria and Dysentery as well as many fungal skin diseases plus Migraine Headaches for the remainder of his life. In 1947, she gave birth to her only son, William Gregory Meeks, and she continued to work as a nurse while raising him and caring for her husband’s stepfather, who was badly injured in a bus accident and his mother who had dementia for many years. The love of her life, her husband, died in 1974 of a ruptured cerebral aneurism. His sudden death devastated our family! With no other choice due to his untimely demise, Edith started a career in OB/GYN/L&D where she continued to work as an RN until retiring in 1987. She continued to take jobs as a babysitter for children, including David Letterman’s nephew, and worked in the nursery of her church in St. Petersburg, FL after retiring.
She moved to Negaunee in 1999 to be nearer to her family, having survived all her other relatives and lived at the Lakeview apartments for many years. She was tormented by health problems for most of her life and somehow managed to cope with kidney insufficiency, heart arrythmias, heart failure, spinal stenosis, high blood pressure, strokes, and kidney stones without letting any of them slow her up to any perceptible degree; until she began falling repeatedly at home and was unable to get up by herself and needed the gracious and loving care of Eastwood Nursing Home where she resided off and on for the last 3 years. She was a shining example for her whole generation and cannot be replaced!
She loved her family and especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was never happier than when she had a fishing pole in her hand and was very successful at catching even huge fish of all kinds, sports, “birthing babies”, hosting parties, and “feeds” where her fried chicken, fried fish, hushpuppies, and cornbread were sure to be well received, having special friends over for visits or games, and was always friendly and generous of her time and resources!
Edith is survived by her son, William Gregory Meeks, his wife Karin M. (Johnson) Meeks, and his adopted family Craig Benz, Lorinda, Ryan and Scott Jandron, Marcia & Mark Rogers, Phillip Meglathery-her son, and Gracie and Ian Rogers--all of Negaunee.
Enough cannot be said about the staff of Eastwood Nursing Center or the attention and care given to her by Dr. Dank and the other members of the UP Health Systems Family Practice during her last days on earth! Special thanks for their devotion to her care and needs and the gratitude of her family is deserved and appreciated. Thanks also to her Pastor John A. Ruege of St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Congregation Members who remembered her in their prayers and showed their love by their service!
By God’s grace she was a believer in Christ and by faith in his work of salvation, she is guaranteed of her place as a child of God and inheritor of his kingdom in Heaven in the sure and certain knowledge of the resurrection of the body. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Friday, May 4, 2018 at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Marquette (Green Garden), MI. Funeral services celebrating the life of Edith will follow at 11:00 AM, Friday, with Rev. John Ruege officiating. A luncheon will be served afterward in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place in Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone, MI. According to her wishes, in lieu of flowers, memorial may be directed to the St. Paul’s general fund.