Eloise Davis Meads, 90 - Spencer

Eloise Davis Meads, 90, a long-time resident of Spencer WV, was transferred to heaven on January 29, 2015.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, James Henry Meads.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Bill Greenleaf in Spencer, and her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Judy Meads in Glenville WV.

Two grand daughters and their husbands and four great grandchildren also survive her, Rachael Meads and husband John Meeker and children Flora Louise and Lucy Meeker of Shepherdstown WV, and Sarah and Jeff Dodson and sons Samuel Dodson and Nathaniel Dodson of Bridgeport WV.

She also had two step grandchildren and two step great grandchildren, Bill and Chris Greenleaf and daughter Rachel Greenleaf in Summerville SC, and Denise and Randy Howard and son Michael Headley in Ripley WV.

Surviving brothers and their spouses are Bob and Betty Davis in Eugene OR, and Gary and Allene Davis in Camano Island WA, and sister-in-law Jan Davis in Burien WA. Her brothers and sister who preceded her in death were Gene Davis of Port Lucie FL, Dwight Davis of Buren WA, and sister, Pauline Crosby of Bellingham WA.

Eloise Davis Meads was born in Gardner, Kansas, the daughter of the late Ben and Olive Davis. Her father was a Methodist minister who was transferred to Billings MT when Eloise was a girl. She graduated from high school in Billings and began college courses to become a teacher.

Eloise first started her teaching experience at McLeod Elementary School in McLeod, Montana from September 1943 to January, 1944. She was the only teacher in a one-room school and taught grades one through eight.

During World War II, Eloise enlisted in the WAVES - a branch of the U.S. Naval Reserve. Having served in World War I, her father, Ben Davis, was too old to enlist, and her brothers were too young, but she felt someone in their family should help the war effort, so she enlisted.

On February 7, 1944, she left Livingston MT by troop train to start her career in the WAVES with training in Stillwater OK. She completed additional training in the Bronx, New York, and was then assigned to Camp Elliott, San Diego, CA. There she met her Navy husband, Jim Meads, at a dance near the end of the war. They were married in their Navy uniforms with the service performed by her father. Their marriage lasted 44 years until his death in 1989.

Because her husband was from WV, they made their home there. He became a WV State Policeman. They lived in several places including Cabin Creek, East Bank, Ward, Grantsville, and Spencer.

Eloise worked as a substitute teacher in Calhoun, Kanawha, and Roane Counties. While her children were in school, she went back to college at Marshall University and finally earned a Board of Regents Degree from Glenville State College.

She marched in the same commencement with her daughter, Judy Meads Greenleaf, who received a BA in Education, and her son, Jim Meads, who marched as a GSC faculty member.

Eloise became secretary of Spencer High School where she worked for four years. In 1965, she moved to the Roane County Board of Education Office where she became Bookkeeper and Head Financial Secretary and held those positions until her retirement in 1984.

She was an active member of the St. Johns Methodist Church, the Susanna Wesleyan Circle, and played in the bell choir.

For many years she was president of the Roane County Retired School Employees. Eloise was involved in the Committee on Aging activities and worked to get the old Spencer Elementary School remodeled into the current Senior Center.

She also worked to gather furnishings, books, and displays for the one-room school house at Heritage Park and frequently served as a hostess there during community celebrations. Other community service included working with Helping Hands.

In addition, she enjoyed the fellowship of her friends in the Novelty Club. She was proud to represent Roane County as a Belle at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville.

When she was in her late eighties, Eloise was interviewed about her military service as a WAVE for the WV Veteran's Legacy Project which was to document and preserve experiences of WV veterans. Her interview was videotaped and her words and pictures given the last four pages of the book Heroes Among Us, a collection of veterans stories.

Eloise played the piano by note and by ear. Her repertoire often included a medley of hymns followed by World War II era songs and the boogie woogie. She frequently recited the lengthy poem "Little Orphan Annie", an 1885 poem written by James Whitcomb Riley. She recited the poem from memory and enjoyed entertaining her children, grandchildren, and school children with verse. She always enjoyed visiting with friends and family and loved watching the birds and other animals that came to her yard.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00vpm on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at the St. Johns United Methodist Church in Spencer with Pastor David Hall officiating. Burial will follow in the Eventide Cemetery in Spencer. Visiting will be Saturday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home in Spencer.