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JO ORAN MEEKER Jo Oran Meeker passed away on March 23, 2019. He had blessed our lives for 85 years, 9 months, and 4 days. Jo was born in Pawnee County, Oklahoma, on June 19, 1933, to Boyd Loren Meeker and Thelma Maude (Griesel) Meeker. He married Patricia (Hawes) Meeker on January 24, 1954. The marriage lasted almost 58 years, until Patricia was called to join the other angels in heaven in 2012. Jo and Patricia were blessed with two children: Amanda Jeanne (Meeker) Cafeo, of Pahrump, Nev., and David Kyle Meeker, of Las Vegas, Nev. Jo was a graduate of Oklahoma State University, having earned a B.S. in Education. He joined the U.S. Army immediately after graduation as a commissioned officer and went on to have a distinguished career as an Artilleryman. He spent time in Germany and Africa and fought in the Vietnam War. Jo received numerous awards, decorations and citations; notable among these were the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Double Oak Leaf Cluster, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was the proud recipient of a Quilt of Valor in 2017, in Pahrump. After serving his country for 20 years, he retired and returned to school, receiving his Masters of Science in Biology from the University of Nevada-Reno. His focus of study was the Nevada pronghorn antelope; his Master's Thesis was entitled "Interactions Between Pronghorn Antelope and Feral Horses in Northwestern Nevada." Jo continued to pursue education at the University of Montana-Missoula. He enjoyed watching and photographing wildlife and nature, and shared his knowledge with everyone. He enjoyed traveling, and spent 11 years as a full-time RV'er with his wife, Pat. They traveled all over the U.S. & Canada, especially enjoying Nova Scotia and visiting family in Oklahoma and Nevada. He made jewelry for family and friends on occasion, and knew all the words to many old Irish songs and limericks. He was an active member of his church, St. Martin's-in-the-Desert (Pahrump). He was particularly proud of his five grandchildren and his two great-grandchildren. In 2013, Jo met Lorraine Baskeyfield at church and, in 2018, they were married in a Fall wedding. During his too-brief time with Lorraine, they also enjoyed traveling, including visiting her family in Pennsylvania and his son in Alaska. Jo was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia; his parents; one brother, Roy Meeker; and an infant son, Jo Jr. He is survived by his wife Lorraine of Pahrump; brother Dan (Norma) of Edmond, Okla, sisters Patsy Wilson of Guthrie, Okla, and Sue (Bill) Pope of Pawnee, Okla; children, Amanda Cafeo (John) of Pahrump and David (Daphne) of Las Vegas; grandchildren, James (Jacinda) Cafeo of Pahrump, Angela (William) Bernal of Las Vegas, Anthony Cafeo of Van Nuys, Calif., Maisie (Dustin Dillon) Cafeo of Van Nuys, Calif., and Stacey Meeker of Las Vegas; great grandchildren William Bernal, Jr., and Oliver Jo Bernal, of Las Vegas; and numerous nieces and nephews. Jo was an inspiration to his family and friends. He was funny and loving, and was led by a strong moral code. He was deeply loved and will be missed by all. A memorial service was held at St. Martin's in Pahrump on April 6. A military interment will follow at a later date at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to Jo's special charities: the Disabled American Veterans and the .
Published in Pahrump Valley Times on Apr. 12, 2019
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