Kim Hudson: Remembering Frank and Dottie Meade

This past week two incredibly beautiful people died. They weren’t famous or very well known. They weren’t rich in a materialistic way. I met them only one time, just this past year. But their lives have touched mine and I wanted to share their story.

Frank and Dorothy “Dottie” Meade were married for 78 years. Yes, you read that right. He died this past week, at the age of 100. Dottie, who was 99, died just four days later. I met them through my parents who met them through church. My parents couldn’t stop talking about this sweet couple they were visiting.

What started out as a helping ministry – Frank and Dottie weren’t able to attend church anymore – turned into a warm and loving friendship. My parents so looked forward to their visits and would share with me some of their conversations. They became friends with Dottie’s sister, Elaine, who lived 2 doors down and helped take care of the pair.

I don’t know what Frank and Dottie were like as a young couple or as parents. I don’t know how they treated their neighbors or other family members or colleagues. But I do know they were lifelong members of Bethesda United Methodist Church, they lived in their home for 76 years, and they were the most appreciative people I’ve ever met.

I came to their house to meet the Meade’s one day last summer. My mom had spoken so often of them I felt like I already knew them. I took my daughter with me and we spent a lovely afternoon at their home.

Dottie greeted us at the door with a big smile and the warmest welcome. She reminded me of a little doll – very petite and pretty. She had on a dress and shoes with a tiny heel. We came into their modest home, sat down and felt like family.

It’s always amazing to me when older people have such sharp minds and memories. Dottie told us stories and shared old pictures and certificates with us. She recalled names and dates effortlessly. She made sure my daughter shook Frank’s hand because, she said, “It’s not every day you get to shake the hand of a 100 year old.”

Dottie took us to her back room to show us her shoe collection. Hundreds of miniature shoes from all around the country, each one dated on the bottom. My daughter was in love – with the shoes but also with Mrs. Meade.

I am told every visitor was made to feel the same way. Every person who sent a card or delivered a meal received a phone call or a written thank you note from Dottie. Frank and Dottie’s appreciation for everyone and everything was limitless.

I know the world has lost two incredible souls – but maybe we can all learn a little something from the Meade’s. We can keep in mind what is most important – family, friends, the people around us. And we can remember that gratitude never goes out of style.

Contact Kim Hudson at tkhudson@comcast.net.

 

 

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