Forrest Burns Meek

August 10, 2012

Forrest Burns Meek, known to most as Woody, was born June 11, 1928 and died

August 6, 2012. In the years between those dates, his curious, optimistic nature brought

him enough adventures and accomplishments to fill several lifetimes. He was a teacher,

a historian, a mentor, and a seeker. His legacy will be the lives that he touched and

changed for the better.

Woody taught thousands of students during his career in a variety of subjects and

places. From Earth Science to drama to speech to 8th grade science, he used the

content to teach his Clare students to be thinkers. In Wuhan, China, he taught local

graduate students to use English effectively and took great joy in sharing his own

culture and learning about theirs. He spent years in rigorous research of Clare County

history so that he could make the story of our past accessible to Michigan residents

through his books. He cared deeply about all of his students, young or old.

He was born in Tustin, Michigan to Robert Burns Meek and Electa Gallup Meek and

grew up in northern Michigan with his brothers and sister, Robert, Weldon, Paul, and

June. Weldon (Hazel) Meek and June Hastings survive him, as do Robert’s wife, Lisa,

and Paul’s wife, Martha.

He enlisted in the United States Army after graduating from high school and proudly

served in Austria at the end of World War II.

He married Jean R. Grimes in 1953 in Lansing, Michigan. After exploring several

occupations, he found his calling as a teacher and moved with Jean and their four

children to Clare, Michigan. Along with his wife, he is survived by his children, Sally

(Don) Dunlop, Tom (Giovanna) Meek, Nancy (Allen) Nickels, and Charles (Kimberly)

Meek; his grandchildren, Nora (Karl Klockars) Dunlop, Diana Horton, Maxwell Dunlop,

Spencer Meek, Tong Meek, Alexander Meek, Moira Meek, and Connor Meek; his step grandchildren,

Jennifer Kirkwood and Allen Nickels; his wife’s siblings, Robert (Joyce)

Grimes and Janet Grimes; his special cousin, Dr. Charles (Pam) Asplund, and many

beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Kathie

Van den Brink Meek and his grandson, Paul Horton.

His family is especially grateful to his friends and caregivers at The Horizon Senior Center in Clare.

Services for Forrest will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 1:00 P.M. at the Clare Middle School Auditorium.  Burial will be in the Cherry Grove Cemetery.  Visitation will take place on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. at the Clare Chapel of Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Clare Depot Restoration Fund or to MidMichigan Home Care and Hospice.  On-line guestbook at

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