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Josephine MEEKER
1930 - 2021
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JOSEPHINE "JO" MEEKER (Measner) October 12, 1930 - January 11, 2021 (Professor) Josephine P. Meeker passed away peacefully, of Covid-19, on Monday, January 11, 2021 at St. Catharine's General Hospital. Josephine was predeceased by her loving husband and soulmate of fifty years, Donald Measner, who died in May 2018. She is survived by her sister, Rosemary Walton (Ronald) and her nephew, David (Karen) Walton in Hamilton; her niece, Wendy Nelson in Toronto; and many nieces and nephews in the United States. Born in Hamilton in 1930 to William "Bill" Stanley and Edythe Meeker, Josephine was the elder of two daughters. Her father was active in the Hamilton business community and practiced community pharmacy throughout his lifetime. Her parents instilled in Josephine a love of the arts and supported her aspirations for high academic achievement. Her beloved grandmother (and namesake), Esther Josephine Scott, encouraged her to learn to play the piano and by age 4 she was performing at public recitals. During their childhood, Jo accompanied her sister, a talented singer, on piano during concerts at the Hamilton Conservatory of Music and other venues. Josephine was a proud graduate of the then fledgling McMaster University and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1953. Josephine remained actively engaged in the University as a member of the alumni over the years, attending Class Reunions including the most recent 65th Reunion held in 2018. After McMaster, she began her teaching career at Hill Park Secondary School in Hamilton where she was responsible for the United Nations (UN) Club, chaperoning numerous student trips to Washington and New York and cultivating her passion for intergovernmental and global affairs. By 1960, Jo had continued her graduate studies in geography at Indiana University and Columbia University in New York City, where she met her future husband, Donald. During her studies in New York City, she continued her work with the United Nations. After completing her graduate studies at Columbia, Josephine returned to Canada to continue her teaching and academic career at Brock University in 1965, shortly after the University was established. Josephine was the first female Faculty member hired by Brock University, an honour she wore with pride. After returning from work abroad in Turkey, Donald reunited with Josephine and they married at the McMaster University Chapel on June 22, 1968 and settled in Thorold, Ontario. They enjoyed many years of being geographers together. Theirs was a 50-year marriage between two true kindred spirits. Their days were filled with joint geography projects and they were avid travellers, both for leisure and academic purposes. Their historic home was a venue for international students living "in residence", for study groups and lively gatherings where students and faculty joined together with their large cadre of family and friends. Donald reigned in the kitchen, enjoyed cooking and playing host to their guests. Josephine sparked engaging conversations and often entertained by playing her beloved grand piano. Similar to her passionate support of McMaster University, Josephine was proud to dedicate her career to the growth and development of Brock University from 1965 through retirement in 1996. As a committed academic leader, over the years, Josephine was instrumental in development of Brock's School of Continuing Studies and the Women's Studies Programme. As well as serving as Professor in the Department of Geography, she was appointed to the University Senate, where she served a term as Chair. During her time at Brock, she used her skills in geography when appointed as a member of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, working diligently to increase awareness and protection of the Niagara Escarpment. Josephine was a passionate teacher and mentor, ardently committed to her students and colleagues, with whom she maintained many lifelong friendships. Ahead of her time, Josephine was a pioneer and trailblazer for women in academia and was extremely proud of her career as a woman geographer. She was admired by all for her independence, keen intelligence and fierce determination. Cremation has taken place. Interment of ashes will take place at the Meeker Family Plot in Hamilton Woodland Cemetery as well as at the Measner Family Plot in Farmington, Wisconsin. There will be a virtual celebration of Josephine's life for students, colleagues, friends and family on Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m. To participate, please contact the family via Wendy Nelson ( or Karen Walton ( Donations may be made in memory of Josephine Meeker to McMaster University Library ( or call directly to 905-525-9140 Ext 24224) or to Brock University ( Please sign Josephine's Book of Condolence at

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Jan. 23 to Jan. 27, 2021.
Celebration of Life
02:00 PM
Virtual Celebration
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Turner Family Funeral Home formerly Cattel, Eaton & Chambers Funeral Home
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8 entries
January 31, 2021
Oh, Jo. I'm so sorry to see that you're gone. I can't describe how deeply I feel about your passing. I feel so awful that I could not do more for you when you were alive, especially at the end. I just wish I could have been there for you.

You are such a great woman and you did so, so much for your loved ones in your life; your students, your friends and family, and most of all Don. He's the most remarkable man I ever knew. His loss was so painful too.

Thank for your gift of self to me and my family too. I'll miss you so much. You were always family to me and I always saw you as my mother and friend at the same time. Thank you for all you've done for me and my wife and children.

Rest in peace. May God prepare a special place for you and Don. You'll be in my and my family's memories and prayers for the rest of our lives.


Guy Berube
January 26, 2021
As a faculty member of Brock University I have known Josephine Meeker for many years. An excellent teacher and colleague, she was marked by an essential characteristic that made her understanding of her discipline blossom. She was remarkably empathetic.
Craig Hanyan
January 26, 2021
gave me a bridal shower- a fellow teacher, condo neighbor a a true friend
mary gentillcore
January 25, 2021
To Rosemary and Ron
So Sorry to hear of your loss, thinking of you in this difficult time and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers
Gwen Thompson
Gwendolyn Thompson
January 25, 2021
Aunt Jo was such a blessed addition to the Measner clan. Her considerate, confident, and thoughtful demeanor was greatly respected and admired. She always made you feel appreciated and important. We miss Aunt Jo deeply and grieve her passing. With much love, Richard & Malinda Measner
Richard Measner
January 23, 2021
what a wonderful lady and a wonderful legacy
she was not only my professor but our beloved neighbour
she and Don were the most glorious couple
so many memories , she even named our 2nd daughter
condolences to the family

joseph/mary feor and family
joseph Feor
January 23, 2021
I have good memories of Dr. Meeker as I was a student of hers at Brock in the late 60's. I always found her to be pleasant and easy to talk to when not all professors were. She lived a unique and fulfilling life and I am sorry to read of her passing.
Condolences to the family.
Gerry Gamble
January 23, 2021
Josephine took this recent high school grad and shaped me into a more outgoing, confident young woman. She thought of her staff in Continuing Education as her own family and treated us 'youngsters' as her children. I will forever remember the get togethers at the home she and Donald shared with us. I will always be her 'little Carol'. I'll miss her.
Carol-Ann & Seby Farinacci
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