Bruce C. Meadows Sr.

October 20, 1931 ‒ July 11, 2020

Galena, Ohio

Bruce Cloy Meadows, Sr. was born on October 20, 1931, in Elgood, West Virginia. Surrounded by his family, he passed into the presence of the Lord at home on July 11, 2020. He was 88 years old. In recent months, his only son, Bruce Jr., cared for him well with love and devotion.

Bruce was predeceased by his parents Hubert and Delta Meadows, parents-in-law Darwin and Josephine Witter, Aunt Edna Meadows, son-in-law John C. McKinley III, siblings Helen Purcell, Caudill Meadows, and Woodrow Meadows, and many other beloved family members.

His wife of 63 years, Irma (Witter) Meadows survives him, as well as, his children; Deborah (Cheryl) McKinley, Bruce (Lori) Meadows, Susan (Dwight) Mains, Cynthia (David) Zimmerman, eleven grandchildren (and spouses), sixteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Bruce spent the first ten years of his life in the ‘hollers’ of his beloved West Virginia. There, he attended a one-room schoolhouse near the family homestead and was proud to be a coal miner’s son. Though moonshine and cigarettes were a part of the very fabric in his culture, Bruce determined at age 10 (while sun-bathing on a rock) to live a life free of those two things. That was a commitment important to him that he kept his entire life.

Bruce spent the next years of his life in Baltimore, Maryland, where he graduated from high school and made a decision to follow Jesus Christ at age 17. He then attended Nyack College (NY) to train for the ministry and was the first college graduate from his family. At Nyack, he met and married his wife of 63 years, Irma Witter.

Bruce’s formal career and life’s work began by serving as a pastor and ended by serving the developmentally disabled as a behavioral psychologist. In the between time, he valued education and worked as an inner-city 5th-grade teacher (Baltimore), a welfare worker, a guidance counselor, a college professor, and a school psychologist. His side hustles and hobbies included real estate, Prudential insurance, Amway, rabbit farming, growing worms, part-time work at local nursing homes, interim preaching, substitute teaching, and writing legal briefs for a variety of cases and causes that were important to him.

He loved to grocery shop, garden, and go to auctions. He loved to fish, fume, and fight the bad guys. He loved to find a bargain, make homemade vegetable soup, and refinish furniture.

He liked antiques and had an affinity for dishware and cast iron frying pans. He loved word games like Scrabble and Boggle. He was a storyteller, a writer, a hymn-singer, and a generous man who often carried groceries anonymously to those in need. He had a special place in his heart for the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and the needy.

He made a profound difference in many lives, both in quiet and significant ways. He had an especially close and tender relationship with his Aunt Edna and his mother-in-law, “Mom.” They would talk for hours, and they shared an affectionate friendship. He liked to look after others and was sentimental to their memories.

From a childhood injury, he had one of the first cornea transplants in the nation performed at Johns Hopkins University. He went on to secure his Master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins. He held various certificates and further training and enjoyed lifelong learning.

His retirement “work,” and his first love was to own and enjoy a tree farm in eastern Ohio reminiscent of the hills of West Virginia. In his heart, his property was named “Piney Meadows” after his grandmother, whose name was ‘Piney’ and his surname. His property brought him much peace and joy and camaraderie among the Amish community there. He thrived among the trees, cabins, outhouses, and ponds. His ultimate desire was to provide a gathering place for his family and for his land to yield a blessing to his kin.

Though Bruce touted himself as a simple man from the hills, his family knew his complexities. He was a committed husband and a devoted Dad, son, son-in-law, brother, and uncle. But he was his best as a proud and loving grandpa, great-grandpa, and great-great-grandpa. He made us all smile. We will remember him well.

A private family funeral service will take place on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, 637 Ohio 61, Sunbury, Ohio, at 1:00 pm with David Zimmerman officiating. The service will be livestreamed and can be viewed at

Due to restrictions, a private burial is planned as well.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift can be made to Capital City Hospice, 2800 Corporate Exchange Dr. Suite 170, Columbus, Ohio 43231 or online at

The family wishes to thank the staff at Capital City Hospice for their excellent and loving care of their husband, Dad, and grandpa.

  • To the Meadows Family,
    Mark and I are so sorry for your loss. Our heart goes out to you and to everyone who loved him. This is such a huge loss for your family. As you go through this difficult time, remember that you are so loved, how proud Mr. Meadows was of all of you and you of him.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. We will be lifting your family up in prayer as you go into new territory. There will be many tears shed but rejoice in knowing you will be with him again some day.

  • To the entire Meadows Family:

    We would very much like to express my condolences. What a beautifully written obituary and description of Bruce’s interesting and accomplished life.

    We know that he will be greatly missed by your wonderful and caring family.

    You are very much in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

    Mike & Laura (McKinley) Larkin

  • Bruce and Susan :
    Sorry to hear of your loss , I remember you both well from our days at Mt. Vernon . Bruce taught me to keep my head close when wrestling by giving me a bloody nose with a stiff crossface and Susan was a fellow class of 79 Grad .
    Thoughts and prayers Tim Knight

  • Bruce and Lori,

    I am so sorry to hear about your Father. I know it’s hard. 🙏 for you and your family.