She was born July 24, 1924, in Milton and was the daughter of Lena Fulkerson Bradley and Edward Leon Bradley. She grew up in the Milton and Conway Springs area. Mariellen went to grade school in Milton and was so proud of the fact that she got to ride a school bus.
Her parents farmed during her early childhood, and there were many Fulkerson and Bradley family members living nearby to help with wheat harvest, large gardens and never-ending daily farm chores.
During middle school years, the family moved north of Erie. Mariellen graduated from Stark High School, also known as Grant Township High School, with a senior class of 16 to 18 students. After attending Chanute Junior College and Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, she began teaching grades one through eight at Barney School, which was north of Erie, for two years and then Pleasant Ridge School, which was between Erie and Kimball, for two years. Mariellen worked summers at the Erie Creamery, where she met her husband, Walter Scott Meeker. They were married April 18, 1948, at Erie Federated Church. They lived in Erie for a few years, then moved to Wichita, then Derby, then back to Erie, raising seven daughters along the way.
Mariellen was a substitute teacher in the Haysville School District for 12 years. Mariellen’s skills were in such demand that many teachers would not take vacation or leave time unless Mariellen would be teaching their class. She was particularly called upon to handle long-term assignments as a special needs teacher.
Mariellen and Walter moved back to the family farm south of Erie along the Neosho River in 1975. They enjoyed being back on the farm, raising cattle, visits from family and friends, teaching and supervising 4-H projects and participating in the Neosho County Fairs.
During her life, Mariellen was a member of First Baptist Church of Derby and First Baptist Church of Parsons. She served as a deaconess, was active in the women’s missionary society, taught Sunday school and along with Walter served as a youth group leader. Mariellen was an avid reader and her hobbies included playing the piano, sewing, reupholstering and refinishing furniture, interior decorating, hosting get-togethers and acting as the family historian.
Mariellen and Walter moved to Baldwin City in the fall of 2010 to be near their youngest daughter Amy. They enjoyed a few months together at Vintage Park before he passed away March 11, 2011.
Although the last few months have been difficult, Mariellen did her best to stay cheerful. This December, Mariellen went to the Kauffman Center to see the Kansas City Symphony perform Handel’s “Messiah,” visited relatives in Fort Scott and spent time with family during Christmas and New Year’s. She will be greatly missed by her friends and family.
Mariellen was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Charles E. Bradley; her husband, Walter Scott Meeker; and a daughter, Judie Meeker Bohrer.
Survivors include six daughters, Scotty Flower and her husband, Mike, of Tulsa, Sally Brimmer and her husband, Dave, of Broomfield, Colo., Margie Marian and her husband, Mike, of Lansing, Betsy Prior and her husband, Scott, of Wichita, Cindy Cox and her husband, Gary, of Udall and Amy Berg and her husband, Ryan, of Baldwin City; and a son-in-law, Perry Bohrer of Erie. She is survived by her grandson, Bradley Bohrer of Erie; and 16 grandchildren, Sage Flower, Jedd Flower, Paul Brimmer, Rachel Brimmer, Elizabeth Seely, Kim Combs, Lana Bohrer, Joshua Sickler, Philip Sickler, Julie Sickler, Luke Cox, Clint Cox, Lena Cox, Carley Prior, Matt Jantzen and Hillary Jantzen; 17 great-grandchildren, Colt Flower, Logan Flower, Abigayle Brimmer, Juniper Brimmer, Anna Gajewski, Caylin Seely, Lia Seely, Jacey Combs, Kinley Combs, Emrey Combs, Nathan Sickler, Rachel Cox, Sophie Cox, Luke Cox Jr., Kyan Jantzen, Ella Jantzen and Tyler Mount.
The service will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Parsons. Burial will be at Odense Cemetery north of Erie. Carson-Wall Funeral Home of Parsons is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to the Parsons Public Library, 311 S. 17th St., designated to Mariellen Meeker Memorial Fund and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.