Mr. Meador was born to Vernon Eli Meador and Mary Elizabeth Wiggans-Meador at Fort Scott, Kan., May 15, 1914.
He was raised in Fort Scott during the Great Depression.
His mother passed away when he was nine years old and he was left to fend for himself and for his sisters, Vivian Wilson and Irene O'Connell, both of whom preceded him in death.
He started working early in life to afford food and shelter for his family. He gained his first employment at a young age playing Farm League baseball in Fort Scott. He was a pitcher who faced some of the great Negro League players on a regular basis when their teams would barnstorm through Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri. He often recounted his many opportunities to match Satchel Paige and other notable names in baseball's history. He would receive clothing and enough pay to afford food for his younger sisters as his compensation for playing.
Later in his youth, he worked a mule team with his to be brother-in-law, building the base of U.S. 69 highway. He was drafted into the United States Army.
He married Opal Virginia Wilson, who preceded him in death, before leaving to fight in World War II from 1940 to 1945.
He served as a combat engineer, a combat ski trooper and an amphibious marine in the 36th Engineer Company. He was involved in four invasions including the Allied invasion of Northern Africa, where only three of 35 ships survived. He also fought at the Landing in Anzio where some of the fiercest fighting in World War II occurred. Other landings include the Landing at Sicily and the Landing at Salerno, Italy. He earned the Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters for injuries sustained during combat and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery presented by the Under Secretary of the Army. Despite his many battles and decorations he would humbly tell you that he was "just doing his job."
During his life Mr. Meador was employed as a refrigerator repairman at KOMACK Appliance for 10 years. He drove a Manor Bread truck, delivering bread to Girard, Mulberry and Arcadia for several years. He also worked for Oklahoma Tar and Supply Co. in Joplin and for Utermoehlen Construction Company as a truck driver.
He is survived by two children Cheryle Meador Wilson (Robert) of Pittsburg and Edward Joe Meador (Teri) of Thayer. Additionally, four grandchildren, R.J. Wilson, Misty Bowen, Brian Wilson and Dustin Meador survive as well as nine great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010, at the Garden of Memories cemetery. T
he Benjamin Fuller American Legion Post No. 64 will provide graveside military rites. Friends are requested to meet at the cemetery.
Casketbearers will be Robert J. Wilson, R.J. Wilson, Brian Wilson, Dustin Meador, Ryan Bowen, and George Randolph Parsons.
The family suggests memorial be given to the Alzheimer's Association. These may be left at or mailed to the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg, KS 66762.
Online condolences may be left at www.brennermortuary.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, Pittsburg.