Donald Edward Meador
November 12, 1932 – July 29, 2020
DONALD EDWARD MEADOR
Donald Edward Meador went on to his next great adventure on July 29, 2020. Don was born on November 12, 1932, in Centralia, Illinois, to Clarence Raymond and Cecil Emma (Donahoo) Meador. At the age of 15, Don enlisted in the U.S. Army. The next year found him stationed in Yokohama, Japan, as part of the American Occupation of Japan following World War II. In 1950, Don was sent to the Korean War as a radio operator. After one year near the frontlines, he should have returned stateside; however, a paperwork mix-up sent him back to Yokohama instead. There, he met the young local woman who was working as the coffee girl at the Yokohama Signal Depot, Itoko Nagashima, and the great love story of his life began.
Don later returned for a second tour of Korea during the War. After the truce, he was stationed in Sendai, Japan, and was able to continue his romance with Itoko. They were married at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on December 15, 1953. Their daughter, Melody Lani, was born in 1954, and their first son, Gary Lee, was born in 1956. Later that same year, Don switched from Signal Corps to Air Defense, which led to his being transferred to Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas. The following year, Don was promoted to Warrant Officer. A second son, Stephen Lane, was born in 1958.
In 1961, Don was transferred to a HAWK missile battery on the outskirts of Schwabach, Germany. It was there in Schwabach, two years later, that his beloved Melody was involved in a tragic accident, leading to her death in San Antonio, Texas, six weeks later. Don returned to Korea in 1965-66, and then again in 1971-72. During this last tour, he decided to retire after more than 23 years of proud service to his country. On February 1, 1972, Don was honorably discharged from the Army with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4.
In May 1972, Don and Itoko bought their first house in El Paso, Texas, and it would be the only house they would ever own. Don worked as a supervisor for a moving and storage company for a few years before deciding to use the G.I. Bill to enroll in college. At the age of 43, he started classes at The University of Texas at El Paso. He was proud of the fact that he and both of his sons all attended UTEP at the same time.
After receiving his BBA degree in Accounting with honors in 1980, Don worked as a staff accountant for Kermit Uecker, CPA. In 1988, at the age of 55, Don figured that he had been working for 40 years and he decided to retire. In his retirement, Don loved to travel with Itoko and spend time with their sons and grandchildren. He also enjoyed reading, listening to music, watching old Westerns on tv, and devising little mechanical “fixes” for around the house.
Don was preceded in death by his precious daughter Melody; his sisters Carolyn Perkins, Doris Daley, and Lorene Gibbs; his brother Jerry; and his half-brother Oral (“Bud”) Session. He is survived by his cherished wife of 66 years, Itoko; his sons Gary (Sheryl) and Steve (Susan Melendez); his grandchildren Samantha Lucetta Margeson (Josh), Dustin Lee (Clarisa Ramirez), Stephen Lane II, and Siena Lindsey; and his great-granddaughter Melody Elizabeth Margeson. He is also survived by his sisters Bernice Wolenhaupt, Phyllis Meador, and Marilyn Livesay.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to a favored charity and be nice to each other.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020