Meridith Ruth Beck passed away peacefully on Feb. 24 at her home at Ohio Living at the Vineyard, Port Clinton. Meridith was born to Raymond and Gretchen Linder Claus in Port Clinton on Feb. 16, 1941. She graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1959, and from Colby College of Waterville, Maine, in 1963.
After college Meridith began her lifelong mission of service to others and to the environment. For five years she worked with the American Red Cross, serving military hospitals, including a one-year assignment aboard the Navy hospital ship Repose in the waters of Vietnam.
Meridith was the director of Ottawa County Red Cross from 1972 through 1975. In 1976 she graduated from the Augustana Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, and in 1980 from the OBGYN Nurse Practitioner Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She worked as a nurse practitioner for Toledo Planned Parenthood until 1984, and then with the Ottawa County Health Department. In 1984 Meridith married William Beck of Fremont. They retired to the home they built in Port Clinton in 1994.
Meridith owned and operated the much-loved Riverfront Bookstore in Port Clinton. Continuing service to the community, she was on the Ida Rupp Public Library Board and volunteered with the Red Cross and the Ottawa County Historical Museum. She belonged to the Thursday Study Club, the National Organization for Women, and the Port Clinton Classic Books group.
Meridith’s favorite volunteer job was pursuing her lifelong interest in preserving the natural beauty of Ottawa County, serving for ten years on the Catawba Island Park Board. She was on that Board when the township acquired the property that became Cedar Meadow Nature Preserve and helped in the planning and development of the preserve.
She always enjoyed spending time with her six step grandchildren, Racheal, Chelsea, Olivia, Madeline, Chloe and Max. They survive and she is also survived by stepsons Brian (Robin) and Dean (Hope) Beck. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband William (2017) and stepson Douglas (2018).
Per Meridith’s wishes, there will be no visitation. Burial at Catawba Island Township Cemetery will be private. All who knew and loved Meridith will miss her intelligence, quick wit, honesty, sense of humor and generosity. That generosity lives on, and memorial contributions can be donated in her name to Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, OH 43449. Online condolences may be shared at www.walkerfuneralhomes.com. The Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home & Crematory of Port Clinton, Ohio is assisting with arrangements.