Surrounded by family, Barbara Ann Quinlan Meurlot took her last earthly breath on Friday March 24th, 2023 at the age of 91.
Barb had a welcoming smile, a kind heart and a love for people and dogs. Born in Gary Indiana, she eventually found herself in Decatur Illinois. Always a Daddy’s girl, she often talked about her dad and his carpooling her friends to games, dances, and school activities. She met the love of her life, Karl Meurlot, at Decatur High and faithfully watched him play basketball in The Gay Kintner Gym. They married on June 20, 1954 and began a life that included family and travel. When Karl was stationed in Japan for three years, Barb left the comfort of family to travel with two young children by ship. She embraced the military life, enjoyed the perks of being an officer’s wife and had a Japanese maid who loved son Mark. She took classes, learning to craft beautiful Japanese dolls and florals. She gave birth to son Kirt and, upon her return to the States, showcased her love of Oriental décor. The beautiful teak furniture, Oriental screens and more are still in her home.
Barb’s children, Cindy, Mark and Kirt, and grandson Christopher were the very essence of her life. She attended every musical school performance of daughter Cindy and made countless dresses for the chorale groups. She and Cindy enjoyed crafts. Barb was a hit at Christmas time making and giving handcrafted gifts to teachers, family and friends. She was Cindy’s confidant. She cried when Cindy was sad, laughed when times were good and supported Cindy throughout her adult business and community activities.
As an avid supporter and fan of son Mark’s sports activities, she attended every game and cheered from the sidelines for each touchdown, home run or throw from the plate. Mark was always a star in her eyes and she loved him fiercely. We know he greeted her in heaven with his wonderful smile and a big bear hug
She adored her son Kirt and his love of all things cars and trucks. They lived together until her passing and together they listened to world events on the radio and tv. As a true conservative, Barb worried about the future for the next generation. Kirt and Barb shared a special fondness for dogs, especially standard poodles, and often enjoyed ice cream for an evening treat.
The birth of grandson Christopher put an additional spark in grammie’s eyes.
Barb loved to travel and would be content riding for hours in a car. She would pack a picnic lunch and try to keep the kids occupied. Many vacations centered around Karl’s Air Force Summer Camp duties. One in particular looked as if it would be cancelled when their rental cabin fell through but Barb, not wanting to be left behind, went out and purchased a tent and camping gear.
In her later years, Barb traveled to Hawaii and other locales with friends and enjoyed many bus trips. She was often the oldest and wisest of the group when she accompanied Cindy to Hilton Head and Palm Desert. One April birthday was celebrated in Washington DC amongst the Cherry Blossoms.
As an integral part of the family businesses, she worked at Sir Speedy Printing but was more at home staffing and creating at Morris Artcrafts, a local craft store purchased when Cindy graduated from Millikin University. In later years, she was the smiling, kind face of Shop On Main. She accompanied Cindy to Market to select the gifts, apparel and more, and “scissored” the paper shapes that adorned the shopping bags, making each one unique.
Christmas was her favorite time of year. From baking goodies, to preparing dinner and giving gifts, she went all out. Her house was adorned with several trees, wreaths, and handmade items including a sequined Christmas tree skirt. Most of her holiday décor was handmade.
Although the time had come for Barb’s journey to God, the sadness felt in the hearts of her husband, children, son-in- law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends will be forever in our hearts. Preceding her in death was her mother (Cora) and father (Art), brother (Gary), sister (Sue) and son Mark.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2PM, April 16th at Westminster Church. Memories and refreshments will be shared after the service in the Fellowship Hall. Suggested memorials are to Paw Print Ministries, an organization that brings comfort to many through their team of dogs; or to the Decatur Parks Foundation Scovill Zoo Fund.