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Published: Thursday, 8/9/2001

Ex-license agent helped run family orchard

BELLEVUE, Ohio - Florence K. Meacham, who ran a former auto license agency at the Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce, died Monday of cancer in her home. She was 81.

Born in Bellevue, she married at the age of 17 before graduating in 1937 from Bellevue High School. She joined her husband in his family's business that operated Meacham Orchards on the city's west side.

It was the beginning of a long work career that concluded only a few years ago when her son closed the orchard's cider mill in 1998, Marcia Sberna, her daughter, said.

"She was just a plucky person," her daughter said. "Independent, self-sufficient. She went after what she wanted right up until the end." In later years, she took computer classes to improve her skills.

Besides working in the orchard, Mrs. Meacham picked up bookkeeping jobs and sold housewares for Stanley Home Products while raising her three children.

After her children came of school age, she sought other work, eventually becoming manager of the auto license agency at the chamber of commerce, a post she held for more than 10 years.

Later, she was a bookkeeper for the former Bill Garlic Chevrolet and the former Leonard's Pharmacy.

Mrs. Meacham was a member of the St. John Lutheran Church, the Bellevue Business and Professional Women's Organization, and the E.O. Merry Chapter, Eastern Star. In her spare time, she taught herself to play the piano and organ, her daughter said. She also cooked and completed crossword puzzles.

Her husband, William B. Meacham, died in 1981.

Surviving are her son, Thomas; daughters, Marcia Sberna and Tonya Frailey; eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today in the Auxter Funeral Home.

The family requests tributes to St. John Lutheran Church, the Fremont Memorial Hospice, the Bellevue Hospital Foundation, or the Kathy Ramon Foundation.

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