On Monday, August 24, 2020, Katherine Meeker of Winchester, Virginia, loving wife, mother of three children, and grandmother of five, passed away peacefully at the age of 78.
Katie was born Katharina Blank in Mariental, Ukraine on July 21, 1942 to German parents, the late Clemens and Theresia (Meier) Blank, entering the family as the youngest of four sisters. She spent her first years fleeing war, communists, bombs, and other life-ending destruction, ending up in a refugee camp in what became West Germany and then resettled in Sögel in Lower Saxony, Germany. With her family, she immigrated to the United States in 1952 and settled in Hamden, Connecticut. She graduated from Hamden High School in 1961 and Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston, Texas in 1968 with a degree in Nursing.
In February 1969, she married Robert Meeker and raised three children eventually settling in Great Falls, Virginia in 1978. She worked as a nurse for an additional 26 years with a Great Falls pediatric practice and then at the Adult & Pediatric Allergy Center of Northern Virginia, retiring in 2011. She had been a resident of Winchester since 2012 participating in the Newcomers Club and as a member of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Along with her husband Bob, she engrained in her children and grandchildren a healthy cynicism to the ideal of obedience, a love for adventure, and doing the unusual and unexpected. She was an excellent crafter focusing first on ceramics and then on counted cross-stich; an avid gardener; a devourer of books; and a gamer in the more traditional sense – loving her weekly meetups for pinochle and mahjong or playing Uno or Mille Borne with her family. Later in life, she regularly corralled one or more grandchildren to help her play multiple bingo cards on one of numerous bingo apps or finding that last item in a hidden objects game. She deeply loved the handful of dogs she owned throughout her life and the dogs of her children. She enjoyed camping across the United States with her young children and, in this century, visiting Germany in 2003 for the first time in 50 years, annual vacations to Myrtle Beach, visits to Australia, a rafting and National Park adventure to Maine and Canada, and annual winter trips with her son to someplace warm. Katie loved a glass of cheap white wine, preferably on the sweeter side. We are tossing the really cheap stuff but will always toast our beloved Mutti/ Oma with a good Riesling.
Katie is survived by her husband of 51 years Bob; her daughters Terri Springer and Melissa Veach (Brad); her son Bobby; her adored grandchildren Maxwell and Madeline Springer and Andrew, Nicholas, and Alexis Veach; her sisters Anna Binder, Barbara Blank, and Eva Chiaramonte; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; friends from throughout her life; and her dog Daisy Mae.
A mass of Christian burial will be held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 130 Keating Drive in Winchester, Virginia on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 11:00 am with Reverend Stephen Holmes officiating, followed by a Celebration of Life Reception at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel.
Memorial donations in Katie’s name may be made to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley at 901 Amherst St, Winchester, VA 22601, or to SPCA of Winchester at 111 Featherbed Ln, Winchester, VA 22601; or to the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation via their website at https://ipffoundation.org/donate/