HILDRED, Meinders (McCants)
Prominent Pauls Valley attorney Hildred Meinders, 97, died March 26, 2005. She graduated from the Oklahoma College for Women (now USAO) in 1932 and became a leader for women in the field of law. She eventually served on the OCW Board of Regents.
Hildred Barnard McCants Meinders of Pauls Valley was born January 27, 1908, to James Franklin and Maude (Putman) McCants in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where her father was serving in the first legislature of Oklahoma after having helped draft the constitution and by laws of the state.
She married Wesley H. Meinders on May 22, 1937. They had four children: Janet Charalampous of Davis, Dr. Don Meinders and wife Mary B. of Pauls Valley, Anne Heaton and husband John of Duncan, and Mary Johnson and husband Floyd of Pauls Valley.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Wesley Meinders; her parents; and two sisters and three brothers.
Mrs. Meinders was reared in Woodford, Oklahoma, and graduated from Ardmore High School in 1926, and Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha, Okla., in 1932 with a degree in physical education. She taught school and coached basketball for four years.
She worked full-time while attending law school at night for five years during which time she married and her first two children were born.
She was admitted to the practice of law in the state of Oklahoma on January 6, 1942. She practiced law for over 50 years until she was the age of 90.
She served as city attorney for Davis, Oklahoma, and opened her law practice in Pauls Valley in 1956.
She was elected Oklahoma's first female county attorney and took office in Garvin County on January 1, 1961, serving three terms.
After retiring from public office, she lived on the ranch west of Davis where she gardened and enjoyed country living.
She served as regent for her alma mater, O.C.W.; served as a state officer in American Association of University Women and as Eastern Star Worthy Matron as well as other civic organizations.
She was a devout Christian and a member of the United Methodist Church where she served as Sunday School teacher for over 30 years.
Mrs. Meinders was recently honored by the Oklahoma Bar Association as one of the pioneer women in law.
She was a worldwide traveler until the age of 89. She enjoyed the challenge of playing bridge. She loved people and never met a stranger. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Pauls Valley.
She is survived by 11 grandchildren: Conrad and Phillip Charalampous, James, John and Michael Meinders, Jeanne Balcerak, Mark Heaton, Sheryl Powers, Jennifer Uptmor, and Kristin and Grant Johnson; nine great-grandchildren; and two brothers-in-law, Hadley Meinders and Harvey Meinders.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 2 at 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Pauls Valley, Okla.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials may be made to the USAO Foundation to benefit the Hildred McCants Meinders scholarship fund, 1727 W. Alabama, Troutt Hall 106, Chickasha, OK 73018 or to the First United Methodist Church, 401 N. Willow, Pauls Valley, OK 73075.
Her final resting place will be at Meinders Family Cemetery.
Services under the direction of Wooster Funeral Home, Pauls Valley.