Eileen Meehl passed away unexpectedly at home on September 1, 2021. Up to that moment, she had been an active 93 year old, driving locally, attending church weekly, grocery shopping, meeting with friends and family, and living a full life. She was born on September 22, 1927, in Brighton, Colorado to Thekla (Barthel) and John Wall, and was baptized on October 9, 1927. She grew up in Brighton in a tight-knit family, with her four siblings Harlan, Norma, Les and Don. Her grandparents had homesteaded near Burlington in eastern Colorado in 1888, and later moved to Brighton in 1904 where her parents met and married. Eileen was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church, attended Zion Lutheran School, was confirmed April 6, 1941, and graduated from Brighton High School as valedictorian of her 1945 class. If she had been a member of a subsequent generation, she would have certainly attended university, but instead she learned bookkeeping and worked first in the office at Kuner’s Cannery in Brighton, and then in the office at Brighton High School. Before WWII, she had met Paul Meehl, an intriguing son of a dairy farmer who lived just up the road from the Wall farm on west Bromley Lane. Paul was also a member of Zion Lutheran Church. They were just acquaintances when Paul left to serve in the Air Force in WWII. On his return, Paul began dating Eileen, and they married on February 8, 1948. The first test of their marriage was a move out onto the eastern plains near the Hudson dryland wheat farm that Paul’s father had purchased for him with his WWII pay. They lived in a small house next door to a larger house where Paul’s parents, his brother Louis, and Louis’ wife lived. The catch was that the small house didn’t have indoor plumbing or running water. This was a major reduction to the standard of living to which Eileen had become accustomed. By early 1951 Eileen was pregnant and Paul and Eileen moved into a house (with running water and indoor plumbing) in what is now the northern edge of Commerce City where Paul had been hired as a “ditch rider” for the Burlington ditch. First son Jerry was born shortly after their move. Paul continued farming wheat near Hudson while doing his ditch company job, and Eileen looked after Jerry and kept the household going. The family, now larger with the arrival of son Mark in 1956, moved to their new home in Brighton where they would complete their family with the arrival of Janet in 1963. While raising Jerry, Mark and Janet, Eileen taught piano lessons in the new house as well, and Paul worked as a Water Commissioner for the State of Colorado. Over her long piano teaching career, she instructed numerous young students, and many would stop by to say hello long after they had grown up. Eileen loved classical music, was a talented pianist, and taught all three of her children to play the piano and enjoy music. She sang in the church choir for 50+ years and was an active member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Bethesda Auxiliary, and numerous women’s groups. Her spiritual and social networks were formed early and lasted a lifetime. She lived out her unwavering faith through her daily life and devotion to her family. Eileen was a strong, intelligent, devout Colorado native, a true “Woman of the West”, and hers is a life to be celebrated.
Eileen was preceded in death by her husband Paul and her brothers Harlan, Donald, and Lester, and her sister Norma Hahn, and is survived by her daughter Janet Fox (Pete), sons Mark Meehl (Jan, and sons Seth and Ben) and Jerry Meehl (Marla).
The funeral service is at Zion Lutheran Church at 10:30am, Monday September 13, followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. Given the resurgence of the COVID Delta variant, the family encourages attendees to be vaccinated and to wear masks, and to not attend if showing any COVID symptoms. If you are uncomfortable at all with attending, the service will be recorded and will be available for viewing on the Tabor Mortuary web site after the service (taborfuneralhome.com, click on link in her obituary).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Eileen's name to either cause that was important to her: Zion Lutheran Church Organ Fund (zionbrighton.org, click "Give Now" and select "Memorial Fund" or mail to 1400 Skeel St., Brighton, CO 80601) - or- Bethesda Lutheran Communities (bethesdalc.org, click "Donate Now" and check "Tribute Gift.")
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