Madelyn Meeks

Madelyn Meeks

Sept. 12, 1938 – June 29, 2022

Madelyn “Maddie” Meeks, 83, passed away June 29, 2022, in Preston, Idaho. 

She was born in Lovell on Sept. 12, 1938, to Louis Paul and Mary Hinckley Meeks. Imagine the challenge of having a child with special needs in an age without the resources available today. Luckily, Madelyn was raised in the small town of Cowley, surrounded by people who loved and accepted her, teachers who knew she could learn, friends who came to play and a family who treated her the same as their other children – with responsibilities, encouragement, support and love. 

At the age of 13, after much research and prayers, her parents made the heartbreaking decision to move Madelyn to the Wyoming State Training School in Lander. Madelyn lived there for 35 years, thriving in the education and care she received. Maddie went home for visits every Thanksgiving and Christmas and each summer for a few weeks, but she was always anxious to get back to “school” to be with her friends. 

In 1987, in an effort to mainstream people with disabilities into society, Madelyn prepared for a move to a group home in Evanston. She loved her new home, her care coordinator, DeLynda Henderson, who was with Maddie for most of her 35 years there, and attending Mountain Regional Services nearly every day for activities and education. Her going away party on June 7, 2022, was a sendoff full of cheer for having known Maddie, as well as tears at seeing her leave.  

Madelyn moved to Preston, Idaho, on June 7, 2022, and lived at the Franklin County Transitional Care, where she was loved and cared for by their capable staff. She also loved being visited by her sister every day. 

Madelyn’s family and friends will forever be grateful for the blessing she was to them. She taught them that everyone deserves love and acceptance, you can find joy in your life with the smallest of things and empathy and patience make us better human beings. 

Maddie is survived by her brother, John Paul (Michele) Meeks, of Riverton, sister Jessie Ann Meeks (Don) Hampton of Preston, nieces and nephews and many special cousins. 

A graveside service will be held Saturday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. at the Cowley Cemetery.