Services for Roland Kennedy (“R.K.”) Meaders will be held at the First Baptist Church in Okemah at 2, Saturday, April 2, 2011. Military honors will be performed at the interment at Highland Cemetery following.

Roland Kennedy (“R.K”) Meaders, of Okemah, passed away March 27, 2011. He was 84. R.K. was the youngest of five children of local merchant Carl Meaders Sr. and brother to Carl Jr. who ran the “5 and Dime,” later called the Ben Franklin Store, a fixture in Okemah for many years.

Meaders was a graduate of Oklahoma Military Academy. Commissioned in 1945, as a 2LT Infantry officer he served his country during both WWII and the Korean War. He was with the occupation forces in Japan in 1946. He was assigned as Mortar and later Heavy Weapons Platoon Leader in the 24th Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division (“Tropic Lightning”). He was the only surviving officer of his battalion neither wounded nor killed as his unit was one of the first units to be deployed to Korea in June 1950 at the outbreak of the war. He saw Seoul fall and fought with distinction in the Pusan Perimeter. His unit participated in the push to the Chinese border and the later campaign to re-establish the 38th Parallel. A VFW member who loved his country to the end, he was a member of the Grove, Oklahoma Ritual Team, bestowing final military right to veterans for almost 15 years until his health, not his spirit failed him. One of his most treasured accomplishments was developing The Avenue of Flags – where on Memorial and Veterans’ Day the Grove Ritual Team placed numerous flags, each honoring a former veteran, lining the roads at the Grove Cemetery.

Meaders was born at home in Okemah, and married a local girl, Barbara Joan Wood, who predeceased him. Survivors include son Roland Jr. and Kay of Missouri, son Mark and Val, of Wisconsin, son Kurt and Kim of Texas, daughter Sharon (Mrs. Mark) Cole of Georgia, and 10 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Meaders is also survived by his widow Bennie Jean (Benson) Zunigha Meaders (“Boosie”) of Okemah, and her children son Roger Zunigha and his wife Diane of Texas, son Merle Zunigha and his wife Carolyn of Arizona, daughter Olivia Weeks of Texas, and daughter Gayla (Mrs. Rick) Hatfield of Okemah.

Services will be under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Home, Okemah and officiated by Rev. Ledtkey McIntosh and Rev. Wade Harelson.

The family requests that contributions can be made to American Cancer Society.

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