IN MEMORY OF RICHARD MEACOCK • SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
OBITUARY NEWS / EDUCATION
Richard Meacock, beloved Mounds Park Academy teacher, dies at 68
By DEANNA WENIGER | firstname.lastname@example.org | Pioneer Press
September 7, 2019 at 12:39 am
Richard Meacock, beloved teacher at Mounds Park Academy, activist, gardener and tea drinker, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 68.
A founding Mounds Park faculty member and literature teacher until his retirement in 2017, Meacock was known by his students for his dry sense of humor and flair for drama.
“You taught the next generation not only to be academically well-rounded, not only to constantly question and discuss, but also how to be good people,” student Laura O’Neill wrote for the school’s newspaper when Meacock retired.
Meacock, who was born in England, taught at Mounds Park, a private school in Maplewood, since it opened in 1982. He was diagnosed with liver failure in 2010 and continued teaching for several years, despite major health challenges.
“He will be greatly missed,” Mounds Park headmaster Bill Hudson wrote on the school’s website. “He impacted thousands of students, both academically and personally. Our alumni think clearer, love deeper, and laugh more for knowing him.”
In a school interview in 2017, Meacock, who lived with his partner Martin Stern in Afton, talked about his time as a teacher.
“I worked really hard to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children at MPA are respected and whenever possible, celebrated,” he said. His commitment to this topic resulted in the school establishing a nondiscrimination policy in 1985. He also instituted a men’s studies course and questioned binary gender identities.
“Richard has always been willing to push where others won’t, to question when others don’t, and to offer an uncanny intuition about kids and how they learn. His impact on the thread and fiber of the school is almost too much to measure,” said Randy Comfort, a director at the school.
Meacock’s daughter, Hannah Meacock Ross, said her father died peacefully in the early morning hours surrounded by people who loved him. “All who met him knew his powerful mind, broad, mischievous smile and many talents, but I am the only human on Earth to know him as Dad, which is both enormously lucky and, at the moment, extremely lonely,” Ross wrote on her Facebook page. “He showed me that men could be loving, deep and gentle, and so I picked a man for my own husband who is that way.”
Meacock and Stern ran Squire House Gardens, a store, nursery and garden, in Afton. They renovated the historic home on the grounds, built in 1876 by Minnesota’s first postmaster. A Facebook post from Squire House Gardens described Meacock as “a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and a friend and inspiration to so many.”
A remembrance service is planned for 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at Mounds Park Academy, 2051 E. Larpenteur Ave.
Meacock’s family requests that stories and memories to share be submitted to email@example.com.
Richard's dahlias in bloom in the garden September 2019
Thank you! Cloe Geschke, floral design • Arcola Trail Flower Farm