Druly A. "Skip" Meadows

COLUMBIA — Druly A. “Skip” Meadows of Midway and formerly of Rocheport and Columbia was a father of eight and a caretaker of many.

Mr. Meadows died Tuesday, April 19, 2011. He was 77.

He had developed a reputation among neighbors as "Mr. Fix-It." He had the ability to repair just about anything and was more than happy to lend a hand to family and friends.

Mr. Meadows helped his mother open Granny’s Antiques in Rocheport in 1976, which was the beginning of a family legacy. When his mother died in 1993, Mr. Meadows took over the antique shop, even continuing her tradition of displaying hundreds of Santas at Christmastime.

“They pulled out all the stops,” his daughter, Diane Dunn, said.

Mr. Meadows ran Granny’s Antiques until he retired in 2003. That's when Dunn bought it.

Mr. Meadows was skilled not only at fixing up antiques but also at mechanical work, carpentry, plumbing and electrical tasks, friends and family members say. These talents, which Mr. Meadows used to help others, earned him the nickname Mr. Fix-It.

Richard Saunders, who owns a home furnishings store in Rocheport, recalled Mr. Meadows as unusually kind.

“He was a really handy person and a willing helper, a good neighbor,” Saunders said. “I never knew him to be in too big of a hurry to stop and answer your questions or talk to you.”

Saunders said Mr. Meadows could complete any task with his vast tool collection and know-how.

“He had the most fabulous workshop packed with every type of tool you can imagine,” he said. “Because of his tools and his knowledge of mechanical things, he really could do just about anything.”

The townspeople of Rocheport knew they could rely on Mr. Meadows, who helped lay the sewer lines and acted as a volunteer firefighter.

“He was the go-to guy in Rocheport for a long time,” said Dean Deitch, co-owner of the Rocheport General Store. “If you were in Rocheport for any amount of time, you knew him or knew of him.”

Dunn said a Rocheport resident recently approached her to tell a story about her father's generosity toward him. Years ago, the man told her, he was unable to pay his water bill and had four children at home. Mr. Meadows worked for the Water Department at the time.

“They told Dad to shut off his water, so Dad just paid the bill,” Dunn said.

“He didn’t want recognition for anything; he just kind of liked to fly under the radar,” she said.

Daughter Lynn Barber said her dad never turned his back on someone in need. “He had a caretaker’s soul,” she said.

Mr. Meadows cared for several family members who fell ill, including his parents, an aunt and a cousin, Dunn said. He never complained about doing so.

Mr. Meadows was born Feb. 11, 1934, in Columbia to William Wallace and Wanda (Epperly) Meadows.

Mr. Meadows served in the Navy from 1953 to 1960 during the Korean War.

Mr. Meadows is survived by his eight daughters, Diane Dunn, Lynn Barber, LeAnn Meadows, Loralyn "DeeDee" Meadows, Sonia Hall, Ruby Meadows, Robin Counts and Ellen Carter; his sister, Audrey LaVita Gruber; 12 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

His wife, Linda (Calvin) Meadows, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be immediately after the visitation.

Donations for either the American Cancer Society or a memorial bench in honor of Mr. Meadows can be made through Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W., Columbia MO 65202.

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