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Lorenzo Dow Meek
© Cheyenne Star
Submitted by: Wanda Purcell



Lorenzo Dow Meek, 90, died December 22, 2000, at Ontario care center, where he was a resident of the Alzheimer's Special Care Unit the past two and a half years.
Funeral service were held at 11:00 a.m., Friday at the First Christian Church, Vale, where he was a member. Services were officiated by the Rev. Dick Scott who baptised Dow.
Burial was in Valley View Cemetery, Vale, Oregon. Services were under the direction of Vale's Lienkaemper Chapel.
Dow was born November 21, 1910, to Aldan and Clara Wilcox Meek in Foss, Oklahoma, where they farmed and raised quarter horses. He was the second of three children.
The family moved to Butler, Oklahoma, when he was in high school. Several years later the family moved to a ranch at Durham, Oklahoma.
Dow later worked in a grocery store, owned by an uncle. He bought a cream and produce business in 1934 in Butler.
He married Zelma Thompson at Cordell, Oklahoma, on May 17, 1936. They continued to live in Butler where their first child, Kathryn Gayle, was born.
During World War II the family moved to California where he worked as a shipwright. Here his second child, Larry Dow, was born. At the end of the war, the family moved back to Oklahoma. In August, 1945, Dow and his family moved to Vale.
In October 1945, Dow bought the Vale City Cleaner which he and his wife operated for 30 years before retiring.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but his first love was his quarter horse. He was very proud of their blood line. He went to Oklahoma and brought back registered quarter horses to start his own herd.
He started a roping class for young men including Smilie Wilcox, Billy Evans and many others. The rodeo grounds had been neglected so the young men and Dow cleaned it up and had regular roping sessions. This started what led to the famous 4th of July Rodeo. Dow won many roping contests around the Valley, winning many belt buckles. The Idaho Stateman dubbed him the "Drug Store Cowboy" because he didn't wear Levis.
Dow organized the Lower Snake River Valley Quarter Horse Association, which he met in Parma. He was the first president, serving for two years. He also served on the board of directiors for several years. He was given a life membership for his contributions to the organizations. The Vale Rodeo Association, also gave him a life membership and a belt buckle in appreciation of his work for them.
He was happiest when working and training his horses. He won several trophies and many ribbons from showing his horses in competition. He kept horses until he was 85 years old, but then had to sell them.
He was a community worker serving on many committees for the betterment of Vale. He could always raise money for every project, especially the Pioneer Nursing Home.
He belonged to the Chamber of Commerce and served on the Vale City Council.
Being Grand Marshal of the Vale 4th of July Parade was the ultimate achievement for the long years of dedication to working for the betterment of Vale.
He is survived by his wife, Zelma; son Larry Dow; daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and Edward Eddy; four gandchildren, Keme Henderson, James Eddy, Laren and Lane Meek; six great grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Marvin Turbyfill; as well as other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother, brother, and sister.
Memorials may be made to the Vale Christian Church or the church building fund in care of Linekaemper Chapel, P.O. Box 970, Ontario.


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