Merideth Ann Drake passed away peacefully at home in Santa Cruz, California, on Nov. 22, 2012, at age 89. She was an extremely bright, intellectual, wryly humorous, creative, and active woman who had a long, fulfilling life at the center of a loving family, and she will be greatly missed.
She was born Ann Merideth Hughes on Feb. 13, 1923, in Oakland, California, to Malvern E. and Grace Hughes. Merideth resided in San Jose, California, in her early years, and attended San Jose High school, from which she graduated in 1941. Also in 1941, she was admitted to San Jose State College (now University) where she studied topics including history, English, political science and economics. During World War II, she was employed at Shell Development Corporation in Berkeley, where she assisted with laboratory research into fuel development. In the fall of 1946 she returned to school to continue her studies with a minor in Psychology, and graduated from San Jose State in 1949.
While at college, she met John (Jack) Drake, and they were married in 1951. After a short sojourn in Southern California, the couple returned to the Bay Area and resided in Saratoga. In 1952, their eldest son, Christopher, was born, followed by their daughter Roberta in 1955. In 1958, Merideth and Jack purchased a house in the Los Gatos hills above Lexington Reservoir, which was to remain the family home for more than 30 years. Their third child, son Jerry, was born in 1963. Merideth continued her education in the early 1970s, earning a Master’s in Library Science at San Jose State. Always interested in children’s literature, she became head librarian at Lexington Elementary School in Los Gatos, where she was well-known to many years of students, and later worked at Chanticleer Bookstore in downtown Los Gatos.
Throughout her life, Merideth maintained a zest for learning. She was an avid reader, and explored a variety of handicrafts including weaving, needlepoint, drawing, watercolor painting, egg decoration and more. Together with some or all of the family, Merideth traveled extensively to such locations as Austria, Finland, Sweden, England, China, Switzerland, and Germany.
In 1989, the family home was severely damaged during the Loma Prieta earthquake, and Merideth and Jack relocated to Santa Cruz, California. As retirees, they continued to enjoy international travel, visiting Samoa, Thailand, and Indonesia among other countries, as well as ranging far and wide in their RV: across the United States, as far south as Mexico, and as far north as Alaska.
Merideth is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Jack, as well as by her son Christopher of Mountain View, California; son Jerry and daughter-in-law Katie of Castro Valley, CA; daughter Roberta and son-in-law Dan Garvey of Anchorage, Alaska; sister Carolyn Goodell of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and niece Cindy Beemster of Post Falls, Idaho. By her request, no services are planned. The family is deeply grateful for the compassionate care provided by Lifespan Care Management and Heartland Hospice.