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Meredith, Sara Frances Parker, 97, Johnstown, passed away on Jan. 24, 2017 at her home. Born Sept. 12, 1919 in Canon, GA to the late Clyde Lee and Annabelle Lee (Shirley) Parker. Interestingly, at birth Frances had seven living grandmothers, a record for Franklin County, including her two grandmothers, four great and one great-great. The family moved to Anderson, SC where she graduated high school and Anderson Junior College (now University). In 1943, she entered the Women’s Army Corps, was commissioned and subsequently promoted to first lieutenant and was posted at Camp Bainbridge Army Airfield in Georgia. While at Bainbridge she met her future husband, MSGT Jack L. Meredith of Altoona, PA, and they were married in 1944 at the Base Chapel. After the Merediths completed military service in 1946, they moved to Altoona and soon began raising a family of two daughters. While in Altoona, Frances commuted to Penn State University in State College, graduating in 1956 with a BA degree in History and was elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. During a summer session at Indiana University of Pennsylvania she traveled to India where the group met with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1958, the Merediths moved to Johnstown and Frances began her career as a teacher at Westmont Hilltop High School where she taught world cultures with special emphasis on Indian culture. She also served as the cheerleading advisor until her retirement in 1980. She truly cherished her interactions with her students, and many have maintained contact over the years. After retiring she began working on her “Someday List”, including travel with her husband Jack and friends to India (where they met Mother Teresa), Nepal, Israel and Egypt and visiting family. Combining her interest in other cultures and a Christian commitment, she traveled as a mission ambassador of the United Methodist Conference to Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Zaire, and also, on a mission-work project in Brazil. As a life-long member of Franklin Street UMC, she shared her strong Christian faith with others as a Sunday school teacher, president of the United Methodist Women, and many other church activities. From 1991-94 she was president of the Western Pennsylvania Conference UM Women, faithfully serving churches in that region. In later years Frances continued to serve her church; and enjoyed family visits and travel, tending her flower gardens that were admired by all, and the fellowship of Garden Club. Her annual Christmas letters with family news were greatly appreciated as were her regular birthday cards and notes. Her great love and devotion to family and friends and her Faith were always an inspiration to everyone. Preceded in death by husband of 58 years, Jack L. Meredith, who passed away in Dec. 2001; granddaughter, Merry Frances Harp; brother J. Reid (Buddy) Parker; and son-in-law, Robert L. Gilbert. Survived by daughters, Kathy (Meredith) Harp, married to Colonel (USAF-Ret.) John S. (Sam), Marvin NC; and Deborah (Meredith) Gilbert, Johnstown. She was the loving “Granmommy” to Meredith Lee Gilbert Golden, married to Eric, Franklin TN; Samuel Parker James Gilbert, married to Mindy, Tampa FL; great-grandson, Bennett Parker Golden; and great-granddaughter, Amelia Lee Golden, both of Franklin; sister, Raye Parker Hellams, Union, SC and her daughters, Dr. Marsha Purvis and Jan Kennedy; other surviving nieces and nephews, John R. Parker Jr.; Ann Parker; Ginny Savini; Lee LoPriore; Jack Irving; Pamela Adams; many great-nieces and nephews; and dear neighbor and friend Ruth L. Hindman. Friends will be received from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m., Sat., Feb. 4 at Franklin St. United Methodist Church in Johnstown. Interment will be at Liberty Church Cemetery, Madison County, GA. Donations may be made to Franklin Street UMC, 510 Locust Street, Johnstown, PA 15901. Arrangements in care of Hindman Funeral Homes & Crematory, Inc., 146 Chandler Ave., Condolences may be made at HindmanFuneralHomes.com
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William T. Hindman III