FEATURE ARTICLE from The Press, 12-1-04, By Julie A. Short
``Karen Meyers was dedicated to her cause, an inspiration to everyone
AVON -- News of the passing of Avon's ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Coordinator Karen Meyers traveled quickly through town over the Thanksgiving holiday. Many in the community gave thanks for having known and worked with Meyers. Meyers (nee Buda), 62, died Nov. 24 following a brief illness.
"I met Karen 25 years ago when we both started working for the city," Assistant Finance Director June Mitchell said. "We became friends quickly. She was on the board of zoning appeals and back then I was the secretary for the board. I remember her coming to city hall at that time actually walking with crutches. After a couple of years, I would wheel her in back when she did not have an electric wheel chair."
Meyers was confined to a wheelchair after the effects from polio, which she contracted as child, became too great for her to walk on her own.
"She was a strong advocate for people with disabilities even before many of the laws were on the books," Mitchell said. "She was responsible for the ramps at the post office and at city hall, which back then was where the police station is today on Detroit Road, when it wasn't popular to put ramps in.
"One thing about Karen was that she never used her disability in her favor. She didn't use it as a crutch. She was actually the least disabled person. She never complained about it. We talked about her polio and I would ask her 'don't you get pissed off.' She often said that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle (referring to her olio). She said God gave it to her because she could handle it. That's the kind of positive spirit she had. She was also very funny. She would say things like 'I can get over there faster than you,' referring to her electric wheel chair. I'm going to miss her very much."
Finance Director Bob Hamilton has fond memories of Meyers' strong personality. "She never backed down," he said. "If something wasn't done right or up to code with regards to the construction of a building, Karen would make the contractors tear it out and start over. She made Avon a much better city and we are all better people for having known her. People looked up to her for and respected her greatly."
Because of her position with the city, Meyers interacted with many of the developers looking to construct commercial buildings within the city. Many of those developers called to check in on her when they found she was ill.
"That says a lot for the kind of person she was," Carl Orban with the Avon Building Department said. "One word to describe her would be 'inspirational.' She was very dedicated to this city and attended every function there was both personal and professional. She also always made sure she was available to anyone who needed her. On her office phone voice mail she even included her home phone number."
According to Mitchell, Meyers went to the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. Later she contracted an infection, possibly due to the polio and being restricted to the wheelchair. She returned home from the hospital on Monday (Nov. 22) and was looking forward to seeing her new grandchild. "She loved her family and spending time with her grandchildren," Mitchell said.
Born in Lorain, Meyers had lived in Avon with her husband of 43 years, Paul. Meyers was a graduate of Brookside High School. She was a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. A funeral Mass was held yesterday (Nov. 30) at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the City of Avon ADA Fund, 36080 Chester Road, Avon 44011.''
OBITUARY from the Morning Journal, 11-26-04
``Karen L. Meyers, 62, Avon ADA coordinator
AVON -- Karen L. Meyers (nee Buda), 62, of Avon, died Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004, at Community Health Partners Hospital, Lorain, after a brief illness.
AVON -- Karen L. Meyers (nee Buda), 62, of Avon, died Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004, at Community Health Partners, Lorain, after a brief illness. She was born Nov. 7, 1942, in Lorain, and moved to Avon, where she has lived for 40 years.
She was a graduate of Brookside High School.
Mrs. Meyers was employed by the city of Avon as the Americans with Disabilities coordinator for 12 years. She was a lifetime advocate for the disabled and built a network of 20 like-minded people throughout Ohio.
She was a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Avon.
Survivors include her husband of 43 years, Paul Meyers; daughter, Nadine Moore of Spotsylvania, Va.; son, Christopher Meyers of Lorain; her mother and stepfather, Mary Ellen and Peter Mihajlovich of Tellico Plains, Tenn.; her twin, Sharen Washburn of New Port Richey, Fla., and sister, Bonnie Szarek of Oberlin; and four grandchildren and nine nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Kenneth Buda.
Friends may call Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m., and Monday, 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., at Misencik Funeral Home, 36363 Detroit Road, Avon. Prayers Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home will be followed at 10 a.m. by Mass in St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 2640 Stoney Ridge Road. Burial will be in Resthaven Memory Gardens, Avon.
Memorial contributions may be made to City of Avon ADA Fund, 36080 Chester Road, Avon, OH 44011.