June Meriwether was a sweet sister in Christ who moved from this earth toward her eternal victory, October 26, 2014. June was born August 21, 1930 in Shady Grove, Tennessee, to the late Lenny and Myrtle Madden Anderson. Shady Grove is a small community not far from the Natchez Trace Parkway between Centerville and Columbia. She was the eldest of three siblings; one brother and two sisters. Her sister Mary Calhoun survives. June was born during the great depression with the additional struggle of her father passing away when she was 6 years old. She was required to become very active in taking care of her siblings. Later circumstances made it best for her to live with her uncle and aunt, Ross and Kerry Anderson, during her high school years. She first attended Hume-Fogg Technical School, but graduated from Antioch High as Salutatorian of her class. Even in high school she loved to write, contributing to the school paper. She also cheered on the Basketball cheerleading squad and was voted “Most Studious” for Senior Superlatives. This all-around girl also juggled a job during high school at Candy Land, a producer of chocolate candies.
After high school, but still at Candy Land, a lady named Ruth talked with June about meeting her nephew, Thomas Meriwether. They did meet, went out and about a year later were married on May 13, 1950. June left Candy Land to work for “Harvey Freeman and Sons” as an administrative assistant while also freelancing as a book critic for the Tennessean. During this time Tom was deployed to Korea during the Korean War as a soldier in the Army. Their first child, Melody, was born on September 1, 1951 while Tom was still deployed. She was a sweet, sweet baby born with Downs Syndrome, who grew into a wonderful young woman. Melody was loved deeply. June’s constant care made sure Melody’s needs were abundantly met. Melody loved music and sports. Melody and June would watch football or basketball together with great interaction as they often pulled for opposite teams. Joel was born July 27, 1966. June and Tom decided to adopt through Family Children’s Services. Truly this was a great day for the Meriwether family. After living in Donelson, the family decided in 1967 to move far into the country to the little town of Mt Juliet. The Interstate 40 was yet to be complete and South Mt Juliet Road was still gravel. There were hardly any homes in “Clearview Estates” when they first built there.
June loved being a homemaker taking care of Melody and Joel. She would still write occasionally and always served as room mother for Joel’s classes until Jr, High. Tom’s work for an International Construction Company kept them on the move. He worked large construction jobs which usually caused them to move every year or two. They have lived in Buffalo, New York City, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and back to Homestead, Florida. But during this time they kept their home in Mt Juliet. Joel lived in it while attending Lipscomb.
In 1988 Tom took a medical leave while battling Leukemia, but passed away that same year. A few years later June had triple bypass surgery. A few years after, on December 21, 1995, Melody passed away with pancreatic cancer, being diagnosed just four weeks earlier. It was the hardest Christmas holiday ever for the Meriwether family. Melody’s passing caused June’s schedule to have more time than she had known for over 40 years. She invested this time into delivering meals on wheels at the Senior Citizen Center, writing an abundance of poems and lyrics, while also learning to operate a computer. She loved the fact that her son, Joel, also had a love for words. He loves to writes and together they have enjoyed many highly competitive games of Scrabble!
Throughout June’s life her faith in God was strong and her relationship with God was the highest priority. If someone wasn’t faithful, she would pray about them, study how best to talk to or study with them, and then go to them. Faith was an important part of her heritage. Her grandparents were members of the Lord’s church as well as the uncle she lived with while in high school. She loved God’s Word. As a matter of fact, her favorite book of the Bible was Romans, which gives you an idea of her studious nature. No casual reader of scripture would pick Romans as their favorite study, yet those who dig deeply often conclude it is the richest of written treasures. Her son Joel described her life in this way, “going to Heaven was her primary reason for living, it was the overarching objective to which everything else paled.” He said she wanted to instill that same faith in him as her son, beginning at a very early age.
June’s faith seemed to always be stronger than the challenge or loss of the present. She raised a child with Downs while moving every few years, her husband passed away untimely, then her daughter, followed by her heart disease that ultimately warranted two open heart surgeries, concluding with seven years of dementia. She would ask Joel about her dementia, “I’m getting worse aren’t I?” But she never complained. She seemed to join Paul in one of the best states of living; contentment found through Jesus Christ.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We will miss Mrs. June. We offer our prayers and sympathy to Joel and the family.
We rejoice in her victory!