Heber Sheryl Meeks of Clarksville Florida, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend to all and a true hero to so many, passed away suddenly on November 11, 2023, in Blountstown Florida. Heber loved his family, and he loved ice cream. His homemade ice cream was legendary. He could often be found volunteering his time at the VFW, doing service projects, or helping out at the bakery.
Heber was born on February 7, 1952, in Jacksonville, Florida, into a loving family. His parents, Heber Wells Meeks and Allene Kelsey Meeks, ran a 500-acre ranch in an area near Jacksonville, Florida, called Mandarin. Heber always had fond memories of living in the small, converted hunting cabin with no electricity, playing outside, working, exploring, and spending time with his five siblings.
They would later move to Utah, where the family eventually settled down in Bountiful, where he excelled in debate and wrestling. He graduated from Bountiful High School in 1970. At a young age Heber had a love for his country that would ultimately become one of his defining characteristics.
He joined the Army National Guard right out of high school. Heber served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Japan Mission from June 12, 1971, to July 1973. Upon returning home, he attended Brigham Young University where he met the love of his life, Malissa. They went bowling on their first date. They would have many more fun dates off-roading in his Jeep and sparked a love that would grow into an eternal flame.
Heber and Malissa were married on November 21, 1974, in the Salt Lake City Temple. Heber transferred to the University of Utah, where he was involved in the school newspaper as a reporter and worked at the school radio station as a licensed Class 3 Radio Operator.
In January of 1975, they welcomed Shannon Elizabeth into their family. Life started moving fast for the newlyweds as they bought their first house in Woods Cross Utah. They expanded their family in October 1977, when Andrew Heber was born. With the growing family, they purchased a bigger home and rented the first home out. This would be the beginning of a lifelong passion for real estate investing, which became one of many great successes in his life.
Patricia Jo came into the family in September of 1978. Having three children under four years old, working a full-time job, and finishing up his degree was a wonderful and busy time for them.
Heber Graduated from the University of Utah in June of 1980, with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, advertising, and public relations. After graduating, the family moved to Arizona in 1980, where Heber was on active duty for the Army, living on Fort Huachuca. There they were blessed with their fourth child Julia Ann being born on base in January of 1981.
The family moved to San Diego in 1982, where Heber attended law school at California Western School of Law. He excelled while attending law school, becoming the president of the student bar association. Tragedy struck the family with the loss of their infant twins Archie Oliver and Heber Jesse. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the love they had for each other, they were able to heal and looked forward to being able to meet them again after this life.
Heber Graduated from law school in May of 1985, and the family moved to Covina, California, where he began his career as an attorney. While pursuing his career as an attorney, he continued to serve in the Army National Guard, moving up the ranks and earning promotions along the way.
Covina proved to be a great place to raise their family. He loved being so close to the beach and could stay out in the water catching waves on his bodyboard and playing with his kids all day. May of 1986, Amy Lee joined the family and was soon followed by Kathleen Monique in March of 1990, and last but certainly not least, Chelsea Lynn, being born in April of 1993. Life was full of excitement and adventure in this time as Heber and Malissa would never pass on an opportunity to take the family on cross country RV trips, camping trips, beach outings, Broadway shows, baseball games, football games and endless adventures.
From 2003 through 2011, Heber was called to active duty in support of Iraqi Freedom being stationed at Fort Stewart, Fort Brag, Fort Campbell, serving overseas in Kuwait for two years, Germany, Hawaii and finished his military career as Commander of the Regional Training Center West at Fort Hunter Liggett. He was awarded several medals and recognitions during this time. After retiring, he pursued a passion for teaching and taught military science at Cal State Fullerton and Texas Tech University.
In 2015, Heber and Malissa fulfilled a life-long dream and moved back to Florida. Heber quickly became involved in the community, teaching JROTC at Liberty County High School and serving in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, including his most recent position at the time of passing as the Commander of VFW Apalachee Valley Post. He quickly came to love the many outdoor activities he could do here with his grandkids and dog, Hashtag, including kayaking, boating, biking, and beach trips.
Heber embodied what a real man should be. He was a lifelong athlete competing in multiple triathlons, marathons, the White Sands Bataan Memorial Death March, Ragnar relay races, and countless 5k races. Over the years thousands of lives have been blessed by the donations of blood he has given. Being a universal blood type, he donated regularly for 50 years. He was compassionate to a fault. He was one who would always stop to help stranded travelers along the way. He was strong in his convictions, which guided him throughout his life. He remained a faithful follower of Jesus Christ throughout his life and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Heber showed his faith every day by serving anyone in need who crossed his path. He especially enjoyed his time serving as an ordinance worker in the Orlando Florida Temple.
He is preceded in death by his father, Heber Wells, mother, Allene Kelsey and brother, Allen. He is survived by his wife, Malissa Meeks; his children Shannon Soltysiak, Andrew (Kim) Meeks, Trisha Aldana, Julia (Eric) Dove, Amy (Adam) Johnson, Monique (Jakob) Saporsky and Chelsea (Conner) Facer; his grandchildren, Maxyne, Ryan, Jesse, Jace, Steele, Sawyer, Ruby, Effie, Joseph, Zuley, Oliver, Piper, Saylor and Skipper; his siblings Welene Richins, Marlon (Vica) Meeks, Delane (Mark) England, and Lee (Cora) Meeks.
There will be a Viewing Thursday November 16th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. CT at Peavy Funeral Home located at 20367 NW Evans Ave, Blountstown, FL 32424.
Funeral services will be held Friday November 17th at 10:00 a.m. CT at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 12605 NW Myers Ann St, Bristol, FL 32321.
Interment will be on November 20th 1:00 p.m. CT Tallahassee National Cemetery located at 5015 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32311.
The family would like to offer a special thanks to the Bristol and Hosford Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the VFW Apalachee Valley Post, the Blountstown Fire Department and Peavy Funeral Home.