Robert (Bob) L. Meeks passed away August 26, 2022. A memorial service for Bob Meeks will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at Ulmer Funeral Home in Carthage, Missouri. An open visitation will be held on Friday, September 16, 2022, at Ulmer Funeral Home, located at 1208 S. Garrison Street.
“Mr. Meeks” as his students called him, was more than an exemplary educator. Mr. Meeks was a beacon of caring, concern and compassion for so many students of his career. Mr. Meeks always claimed he had three ‘once in a lifetime’ teachers in his rearing. It is logical to assume, these teachers were so impressionable to him, it was his desire to become a ‘once in a lifetime’ teacher to any student he could help.
Mr. Meeks was much more than your average teacher. He was one of those special educators in the lives of children, that they remember for life. One of those special educators that makes students fell like they have a real friend, not just another teacher. He is one of those very rare, special teachers that prepare students for life in a way that no curriculum could outline, that no school board could create or that no expert could dictate.
Mr. Meeks became friends with each student, any student that needed him. Some how, some way, if a student needed guidance, Mr. Meeks was there, always, with time, attention and genuine concern. Taking the time to know each student personally, meeting them on their level, raising their spirits and preparing them to take on life.
You have to understand, Bob Meeks was one of those “once in a lifetime” teachers. That special teacher who would change the directions of lives from dissonance toward harmony, would alter attitudes from apathy to participation, and would alter cold belligerence into warmth and pride.
Not every student is in need of such prolific assistance, but no matter who it was or how far down their disposition, Mr. Meeks, never gave up on student, ever.
No matter the student, Mr. Meeks would, by default, attempt to offer whatever guidance and wisdom most applicable to the individual. Mr. Meeks did not have a specific method, or ideology to teach, he would befriend each student to determine how he could help them the most for their upcoming journey in life, adapt to make an impression on them, and a difference.
This was a genuine, true concern of Bob Meeks. He lived to help students, young people make their way. Not only did he possess a concern above and beyond most people and certainly most teachers, he possessed the skill sets, attitude, magic that enabled him to apply that concern and affect the lives of so many students in such a profound way.
A large part of what Mr. Meeks gave so many, although it goes much deeper, and much more diverse, was the feeling of competence, ability and self worth. Mr. Meeks made his students feel like friends, and he always left his friends feeling empowered, special and confident.
Mr. Meeks was a teacher, a friend, that so many students call their “once in a lifetime” teacher. So many of his students, who are now adults, surely echo these sentiments and realize more than ever what a special individual Robert ‘Bob’ Meeks was and how he impacted so many students in such a positive way. These things are not measurable. We can’t gauge the improved quality of life around those he touched, how many crimes may have been avoided, or the degree of negativity that would have ensued and permeated to the lives of others, if not for the positive influence of Mr. Meeks.
But, you can bet it has, and you can bet it’s a lot. For so many students, Mr. Meeks will always be, that ‘once in a lifetime’ teacher. .
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