Norman W. Meekins

( / April 11, 2013)

Norman W. Meekins, founder of a Baltimore County paving company who was also a World War II veteran, died Thursday from complications of an infection at Carroll Hospital Center. The Sykesville resident was 94.

Born in Stevenson, Mr. Meekins moved in 1921 to Stevensville, where he grew up on his family's farm.

After graduating from Stevensville High School, he moved to Baltimore, where he worked delivering ice for Melvin J. Burnham Co. He then took a job as a salesman for the Formstone division of Lasting Products.

He attended the Johns Hopkins University at night and took a public speaking course to "overcome his shyness," said a daughter, Joyce Meekins of Greenbelt.

During the early years of World War II, he was part of a team at Lasting Products that developed a protective coating for boats called "plastic armor that would increase their resistance to bullets," said Ms. Meekins. "He was 24 at the time and had 240 men working for him."

He later joined the Army in 1944 and served with the infantry in Europe. He was discharged in 1946 and returned to Lasting Products.

In 1956, Mr. Meekins established the Meekins Construction Co., a paving company, in the backyard of his Reisterstown home with one truck.

He was then joined in the business by his brother, R. Leon Meekins.

Mr. Meekins' wife, the former Elsie Knight, whom he had married in 1941, ran the office.

It grew from doing small private driveways to a substantial construction company that handled major paving, grading and utility contracts for the state, county and private customers.

Mr. Meekins added the construction of tennis courts to his business.

"Though this was a fleeting and small part of the business, it did bring him into the world of tennis," said Ms. Meekins. "He began to regularly play at the age of 60 and continued until one month before his death, a month from his 95th birthday."

Even though he sold the business in 1990 to his son, Stewart Meekins of Reisterstown, Mr. Meekins continued to remain semi-active in its operation.

Mr. Meekins was a member for 63 years of the Kiwanis Club. He was also a member of the Reisterstown Chamber of Commerce.

The longtime Reisterstown resident, who moved to the Fairhaven retirement community in Sykesville several years ago, was an avid flower gardener.

His wife died in 1990. In 1991, he married Dorothy Bradley.

He was a longtime member of Reisterstown United Methodist Church, 246 Main St., where services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.

In addition to his wife, son and daughter, Mr. Meekins is survived by another daughter, Lois McCormick of Reston, Va.; his brother, R. Leon Meekins of Arnold; three stepsons, Charles Bradley of Reisterstown, Bruce Bradley of Huntingtown, and Mark Bradley of Union Bridge; two stepdaughters, Sandra Kehne of Knoxville and Barbara Bradley of Owings Mills; five grandchildren; 12 step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com