|Gerald DeVon Meade|
He lived in the Fithian, Ill., area 89 years before selling the family home in April 2005 to move closer to family.
Gerald was born Oct. 27, 1915, to Earl Meade Sr. and Neva Ellen Poage Meade on the old Meade homestead in Fithian. He was the oldest of four sons, M. Ithul, Earl Jr. and Donald.
In 1934, he graduated from Oakwood Township High School, the first of his family to do so. While there, he read every book in the library.
He worked at Hegler Zinc Co. in Danville until October 1941 when he joined the United States Marine Corps. He served as drill sergeant and demolitions expert and earned recognition as sharpshooter.
After discharge in February 1946, he returned to Fithian and ran the Fithian bulk plant for Standard Oil Co. for 30 years. As a trainer-agent, he trained his brothers, Ithul and Donald, the first brothers ever hired by Standard Oil. After retirement in 1975, he returned to farming and worked for Gerald Barnes 25 years before retiring again at age 86.
Gerald met Mary Casari in November 1945. They married May 18, 1946, and had two daughters.
Gerald was very active in the Fithian community, serving more than 50 years on various boards: Fithian Village Board (12 years as mayor); Fithian Grade School Board; Oakwood Township High School Board; and 30 years on the Fithian-Muncie Stearns Cemetery Board.
He initiated and collected donations for a memorial to honor all war veterans. Gerald was a 53-year member of the Mason Ogden Lodge 754; 63-year member of American Legion Post 998 (Ogden); Scottish Rite in the Valley of Danville; lifetime member of Vermilion County Museum and Vermilion County War Museum; lifetime Charter member, National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.; and member of NRA.
Gerald loved the outdoors and roamed the woods and Salt Fork River mushroom hunting, fishing and game hunting. For 61 years he made annual trips to northern Wisconsin to visit family and to fish. He enjoyed several trips to Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada, with his fishing buddy, Raymond VanBuskirk and family. He loved going to the Oakwood truck stop every day to meet friends.
Gerald was a great family man during his 49 married years, enjoying many family dinners and croquet games on the farm as well as euchre and canasta. In later years, he loved cribbage. He was an honest, fair and generous man to all who knew him.
He is survived by his two daughters, Carole Jean (Guy) Rodon and children, Andre Rodon and Melinda (Brant) Campbell; and Robin Jane (Matt) Cadwell and children, Katie Devon Cadwell (Jesse Bond), Emily Cadwell and Alexandra Cadwell; great-granddaughter, Zion Avery Richardson; sister-in-law, Janet Casari; and many beloved nieces and nephews and their families.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary, on March 28, 1996; his brothers and their spouses; and two brothers-in-law.
Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6 at Sunset’s Oakwood Chapel, Oakwood, with service immediately following. Burial will be at Fithian Stearns Cemetery, with military rites.
Condolences in care of: Sunset’s Oakwood Chapel, 105 E. S. Main St., Oakwood, IL, 61858.
Memorial donations suggested to: Vermilion County Museum or Vermilion County War Museum Society in Danville.