Meriele Jean Wilmot, Age 78

Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:41 pm

Meriele Wilmot.tif

Meriele Jean Wilmot of Akron, Iowa passed away Monday, December 30, 2019, at Bickford Senior Living in Sioux City, Iowa.

Immediate family had a private ceremony. A public celebration of Meriele’s life will be held in early June in Akron. Memorials can be made to the Meriele Wilmot Memorial Fund to be used for the Akron Children’s Center, 270 N. Fourth St., Akron, IA 51001. Condolences can be sent to Rexwinkel Funeral Homes, PO Box 888, Akron, IA 51001.

Meriele Jean Wilmot was born March 18, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Harry and Alma (Dixon) Hill. She attended elementary school in Cleveland before her family moved to Parma, Ohio. She graduated from Parma Senior High in 1959. Meriele began her degree at Ohio State University before transferring to Eastern Montana College in 1961 to be near her future husband, Ron Wilmot. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.

Meriele was united in marriage to Ron Wilmot on September 8, 1962 in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. After graduation Ron began his teaching career in Rapelje, Montana. While Meriele worked as a substitute teacher, the Wilmot family grew with the births of Dwain and Becky. Shortly after the birth of Jennifer, the growing family moved to Akron, Iowa where Ron began a 36-year teaching career. Meriele took care of the children and provided childcare for other community families in their home. During this time, the couple adopted two children, Ronele and Aaron.

Meriele had a lifelong passion for educating children. In 1976, she began teaching preschoolers for Akron Head Start while attending the University of South Dakota. She received a master’s degree in Special Education. Starting in 1979, she was employed by Area Education Agency 12, teaching disabled infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Meriele was always active in her community. Throughout her life, she was a Cub Scout Den Mother, 4-H leader, and an active volunteer for Calvary United Methodist Church in Le Mars and later Akron’s Wesley United Methodist Church. Meriele volunteered for many years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), informing judges how to best serve the needs of children in crisis.

The desire to strengthen an already growing community drove Meriele to build a coalition for Akron’s first daycare center. With Meriele’s hard work and determination, the Akron Children’s Center began operating at Wesley United Methodist Church. Meriele’s grant writing and fundraising continued until a new building could be constructed at the existing site. Throughout the years she also served on the board and volunteered countless hours. The Akron Children’s Center has touched generations of families and continues to provide quality daycare and early education options to the community.

In 2002, Ron and Meriele became active members in the Methodist Iowa Nigeria Project. Meriele traveled to Nigeria a few times, but most of her work was here in Iowa. She tirelessly traveled to various churches and organizations educating Iowans about the project’s goal: improving the lives of the Nigerian people. Projects she advocated for included the introduction of solar power and solar refrigerators for medical clinic vaccinations, improvement of water quality through construction of water wells and solar pumps, and the construction of school buildings to transform education for Nigeria’s youth. The project Meriele was most passionate about was promoting the donation of birthing kits. These kits were then shipped and distributed to needy Nigerian mothers. Though her efforts, so many lives have been touched, so far away.

Meriele will be missed by all who knew her. Survivors include her five children: Dwain Wilmot of Akron, Iowa; Becky Wright and her husband Will of Claremore, Okla., and their children Olivia and Evan; Jennifer Bond and her husband Dan of Boise, Idaho; Ronele Murdock of Kansas City, Mo.; and Aaron Wilmot and his wife Jaclyn of Lakewood, Colo., and their children Zionna and Yeniah; and her sister, Jackie Roache Isenburg of Wellington, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Ron Wilmot, and a brother, Harry Hill.

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