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Old 07-30-2012   #1
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 818
Rafter V runs her last rapid

Those of you who had a chance to raft with Velma McMeekin, known as "Veemie" or "Rafter V", will know what a wonderful person she was. This from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

"Rafter V's" generous heart simply could no longer keep pace with her active lifestyle and it suddenly quit beating on Independence Day. It was fitting that Velma was preparing for a raft trip with her sister Donna and a group of friends at the time.

Velma was born to Lois and Dale "Scotty" McMeekin on Oct. 19, 1951, in Denver, Colo. Scotty was transferred to Helena in 1955 and it was Montana that Velma always came home to from all of her many adventures. And, oh, what adventures she had in 60 short years; high school exchange and university student in Finland, staying to work for a year in Switzerland, a career with the phone company proving that talent and skill, not gender, gets the job done and those countless river trips throughout the West that earned her the nickname "Rafter V."

Her victory over breast cancer exemplified Velma's life: Keep fighting until you win, accept the scars, adapt and get on with life. She lived for the present, planned for the future and enjoyed recollections of the past.

Ski For Light has been an important part of Velma's life for years; both in the U.S. and abroad. She would be happy to have any memorial contributions directed to the activities of that wonderful organization. You may learn more by visiting <Ski for Light, Inc.> Or Eagle Mount, 6901 Goldenstein Ln., Bozeman, MT 59715,
<Eagle Mount>

Velma isn't really gone; she will forever be in the hearts and memories of a loving family and a huge, diverse, world of friends that spans generations and the globe. "An eclectic bunch" would be an understatement. You know who you are! Velma will live on through her sister, Donna Morgan (Steve); brother, Mike McMeekin (Jan); her beloved nieces and nephew, now followed by the grandnephews and grandnieces she loves so much.

Never one for ceremony, Velma surely would not show up for her own funeral so there won't be one. Her earthly remains have been cremated. Friends and family will celebrate Velma's birthday and her life on Oct. 19. The location will be announced later. Be ready to share your stories and your photographs.

The family would like to thank the folks at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service in Bozeman for their assistance.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at
<Dahl Cares | Bozeman, Montana>

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Old 07-30-2012   #2
ednaout's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 966
What a lovely write up about about her life.
Rest in Peace Rafter V.
Condolences to the family and friends.

"You know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder, everyday..."
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Old 07-31-2012   #3
fdon's Avatar
Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
Never one for ceremony, Velma surely would not show up for her own funeral so there won't be one.

I never met this woman but you have to love the way she lived her life. RIP
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Old 07-31-2012   #4
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
A life well lived. Cheers, Rafter V!
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Old 07-31-2012   #5
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 818
My last photo of VeeMee

I last saw VeeMee as we scouted Badger this March. We had five replica wooden boats on the trip, so we stopped to scout. VeeMee was up overhead at the overlook on the west side of the river to watch us run. We shouted back and forth to each other as a California Condor flew overhead. Photo is attached. Miss you V...
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Old 07-31-2012   #6
Riparian's Avatar
Little Village, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,350
Sounds like she was a very cool human being. ANY of us would be honored to be remembered as she apparently is.

Uh, I'm just gonna go find a cash machine.
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