Lois Marie Rucker Meekins was born June 27, 1929 in Little Rock, to Ora Lucky and Joseph Rucker.
At the age of 15, she was baptized at Lee Chapel AME Church in El Dorado. Lois was a proud member of Olive Light AME Church in Smackover; which was her home church during her entire adult life. With the true heart of a servant she was blessed with many gifts and talents which she so graciously shared with her church family whom she loved dearly. As a dedicated member of the AME Church Organization she attended numerous conferences as a delegate to the General Conference, delegate as a Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) member, and a delegate for the Lay Organization. She was a dedicated member of the WMS and later became a lifemember. During her spiritual journey, for 28 years, she dutifully attended a weekly Bible Study group of Christian women that shared her desire to be in the word at Immanuel Baptist Church in El Dorado. She also attended a monthly ladies luncheon oftentimes inviting friends to partake of the Spirit led occasion.
Lois is a graduate of Booker Washington High School Class of 1947. She continued her education at A.M.& N. during the summer months and graduated from Grambling State University with a degree in Elementary Education. As a member of the first class that integrated Henderson State University, she earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.
March 1947, Lois married Franklin Felix “Pete” Meekins; to this union they were blessed with two children, Patricia Ann and Reynaldo Nicholas.
Lois was a retired educator who taught in Smackover for six years and subsequently retired from the El Dorado School District after 33 years of dedicated service. She was one of five African American educators chosen to integrate Retta Brown Elementary School. During her tenure, she was honored as Teacher of the Year along with other accolades.
As a community activist she was a member of the NAACP, Retired Teachers Association, Ombudsman for the local nursing home, a reading tutor at the Literacy Council, and numerous civic organizations. In 1994, she was a recipient of the “Five Who Care” award for her involvement with a local soup kitchen. She was also an active member of the Fairview Social and Arts Club, and the Federated Women’s Club.
After retirement, Lois’ goal was to reap the fruits of her labor. She lived out her dreams and goals to travel both abroad and the United States. She was a member of the “Traveling Friends”. Traveling Friends are a close knit group of traveling enthusiasts that also have an insatiable desire to travel. Lois was most recently quoted as “her time with Traveling friends was a blessing”. She was also quoted of having said “I enjoy the adventures of traveling, seeing things, experiencing things, I have only read about.” She said her experience with the group in Jerusalem was “life-changing.” While taking a guided tour, she visited what is believed to be the site of Jesus’ tomb and Mount Moriah, where, according to scripture, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Lois said “The Holy Land experience - to have walked the streets that Jesus walked according to tradition, I thought I would never be the same after that.” She was a member of Health Works where she participated in water aerobic classes. There she made numerous friends whom she often encouraged to be healthy and exercise. Last December her water aerobic class members gave a party in her honor and presented her with a certificate as a Great Encourager. Lois was a board member of Champagnolle Landing where she participated in various activities.
Lois transitioned on Jan. 29, 2018 at Arkansas Hospice in Russellville. She was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin Meekins and son, Reynaldo Meekins.
Her loving memories and legacy will be continued by her “NumberOne” daughter, Pat Collins of Russellville; “NumberOne” granddaughter, Sabrina Isbell of Centerton; and a very special great-grandson, Colby Isbell of Springfield, Missouri; two nephews, Joel Rucker of Los Angeles, California and Burnett Rucker of Bakersfield, California; two nieces, Wilma Davis of Bakersfield and Donna Robinson fo St. Francisville, Louisiana; two cousins, Debbie Hall and Denver Hall, both of Madison, Mississippi; along with a host of friends and relatives who will miss her dearly.
Our family offers a sincere thank you and appreciation for your love, prayers, phone calls, and visits.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at Olive Light AME Church in Smackover. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at Lee Chapel AME Church in El Dorado. After the service, the family will meet in the fellowship hall of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. Cremation services provided by Andrews Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to Lee Chapel AME Church and Olive Light AME Church.