“Chief” Touched Hundreds In Putnam
There is not a way to count how many people’s lives were, positively, touched by the generosity and love of Frank Arthur “Chief” Meeks.
The longtime Putnam County businessman, his wife, Lola, and his family, constructed hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses that provided thousands of jobs through five decades.
“Art” was loved by everyone that met him, a rarity in the “tough” world of business and construction.
Best known for A & L Hardware, the Meeks family also constructed Mid-Valley Square, condominium complexes, in Putnam County, as well as homes and commercial properties across West Virginia.
“When I see people going to work, and able to feed their families, it’s a nice feeling,” Meeks told PutnamCountyNews.com in 2004. “Providing homes where children grow up, and memories are made, is a fun way to earn a living.”
In addition to the legacy of his family, Meeks left behind a company that is supporting them. In recent years, Meeks’ son, Robert, “Tim” and his wife, Melissa and their children, Ariel and Thor, took over the family business and continue to successfully expand it – creating more jobs and building more homes. It is the “All American success story.”
Family was huge to Arthur Meeks. He adored children. Years ago, PutnamCountyNews saw Meeks, at Magic Mart. A child wanted a $100, remote controlled, toy truck. His mother couldn’t afford it. Meeks discretely bought the truck, handed it to the child, in the parking lot, and walked away before they could get his name or say “Thank you.” The child was in shock, (with a HUGE smile!) the mother was in tears, and Meeks smiled all the way to his car.
In addition, bank tellers were often the recipients of candy that Meeks took with him when he made deposits.
“Was one of the nicest, most remarkable men God ever put on this earth,” remembers Tim. “Never met a stranger, always had a smile on his face even in his toughest times. He loved and cherished not only his family but everyone he came in contact with. A dying breed. They don’t make man of them like him anymore.”
Meeks , 87, passed away peacefully on July 1st, after a day spent surrounded by those who loved him most at home. He was born on February 27, 1930, to the late Jess and Aileen Meeks.
Arthur started his sales career, on the road, in the early 1950’s. His first venture was as a pots and pans salesman going door to door and even putting on dinner parties as a part of his sales pitch. After almost a decade, he took another sales position with Kanawha Brick and Block of Charleston where he would stay until the early 1970’s.
Art and Lola then decided to work for themselves and open up a Hardware store on Teays Valley Road. Naturally, they would call the store A & L (Art & Lola). Over the years the business evolved with the times, as did he. Art loved being in the store and took on any task anyone asked of him. His favorites included bank runs and going to the post office. June 24th, Art celebrated 44 years in business with A&L.
He was preceded in death by his wife , Lola Mae Thornton Meeks, brothers; Jess Meeks, Eugene Meeks, Gerald Meeks, Jack Meeks, and David Meeks . Surviving; sister Lucille Meeks Patterson of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Joseph Meeks and Sister in law Betty Meeks of York Town, V; Son Robert Tim Meeks and wife Melissa Neville Meeks and daughter Tamara Meeks both of Hurricane.
Grandchildren: Trebor Mott and Wife Ashley Mott , Tiffany (Mott) Wickline and Jason Wickline, Thor Meeks and Wife Leah Meeks , Ariel (Meeks) Tardy and Husband Weston Tardy of Hurricane. Great grandchildren, Mercedes, Griffin, and Titan Mott and Hagan and Lola WIckline of Hurricane.
Viewing will be Thursday at Allen Funeral Home on Main Street, Hurricane, from 5:00pm -9:00pm. Funeral services will be held Friday at Allen Funeral Home at 11:00am. Following the service will be the Entombment which will be held at Valley View Memorial Park.
The Meeks Family would like to thank all the caregivers that have been a huge part of his life, and to Hospice for allowing his last couple of days to be at ease.
In Lieu of flowers Please make a donation to Hospice, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W. Charleston, WV 25387