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Elizabeth (Durley) Meals (1916 - 2013)

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Elizabeth Durley Meals of Fayette, Missouri, died peacefully at home on October 9, 2013.

She was born on April 17, 1916 at her parents' farm home near Hughesville, Missouri, to Willie and Leonidas Edgar Durley. She loved learning in the one-room school house setting of Fristoe School, along with her siblings Helen Marie Durley Early, L.H. Durley, and James Edgar Durley.

Elizabeth attended Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia and later graduated in 1938 from Central College (now Central Methodist University) in Fayette. She stayed on at Central College as a graduate assistant in mathematics for two years.

Elizabeth and Jasper married on June 15, 1940, at her parents' home. They first lived in Cincinnati and then in Pittsburgh where Jasper worked as a civil engineer. Following the war, Jasper, Elizabeth, and their three children moved to Fairway, Kansas, where Jasper worked for Burns and McDonnell Consulting Engineers for 31 years.

Elizabeth and Jasper raised three children, Kenneth D. Meals, who died in 1994, Harriet Finkelstein (Steve), and Roy A. Meals (Susan). Elizabeth was loved and admired by her husband and children; her granddaughter, Erin Haas Johnson (late husband Thomas); grandson, Clifton G. Meals (Darcy); great granddaughter, Sarah E. Johnson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

While rearing her children, Elizabeth served in various capacities with PTA, Boy Scouts, and Methodist church. She became a substitute mathematics teacher and took great pleasure in tutoring high school students in algebra and geometry. She treasured her friendships in PEO and MMM organizations.

In retirement, Elizabeth and Jasper traveled widely and lovingly restored and greatly enjoyed Oakwood, their pre-Civil War home in Fayette, Missouri. With the passing of her siblings, Elizabeth became the treasured aunt and family matriarch to her nieces and nephews who valued her company and wisdom. Everyone particularly appreciated her expertise in cooking and entertaining, home decorating and gardening, and genealogy, including telling family stories. Her curiosity for inquiry and learning was legend.

The family will receive guests on Friday, October 18, 2013, from 4 to 7 pm at the Friemonth-Freese Funeral Home in Fayette.

The Reverend Moray Loring Kiehl will lead a service celebrating Elizabeth's life on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at 11:30 am at Crown Hill Cemetery in Sedalia, Missouri. A reception will follow at Sedalia Country Club.

Gifts to honor Elizabeth D. Meals and her devotion to family, friends, and learning may be made to "Mathematics, Central Methodist University," in care of Advancement Office, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, Missouri, 65248.

Published in on Oct. 14, 2013
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