Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Nell Meize Obituary (1922 – 2020) – Hartford, CT

Beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Nell Ausanka Meize, 98, died peacefully in her sleep on September 28, 2020. A longtime resident of Farmington, New Mexico, Nell spent most of her last 14 years living with one of her daughters , either in Omaha, NE, or Albuquerque, NM. The youngest of four children, Nell was born at home on May 28, 1922, in New Britain, CT, to Lithuanian immigrant parents, Anthony and Mary (Lesevicius) Ausanka. In addition to her parents, Nell was predeceased by her husband, Robert (Bob) Miezlaskis Meize, brothers Algert (Frank) and Joseph Ausanka, sister Anne Matulis, and nephew James Matulis. Nell graduated from New Britain High School in 1939 and then Moody’s Business School in New Britain. She subsequently worked as a professional secretary in a variety of business and service-oriented settings. In December 1949, Nell married Bob Meize at St. Andrew Catholic Church in New Britain, CT. After a honeymoon in New York City, they moved to Golden, CO so Bob could complete his petroleum engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines. Nell worked for the USGS while Bob attended classes, and she fed many a Mines student during that time. Nell and Bob lived in Oklahoma and Texas, and started a family before settling down in Farmington, New Mexico. Nell was content being a homemaker and mom, but Bob died suddenly in 1962, leaving her to raise their three young children on her own. She returned to the work force as the secretary in the Farmington (NM) Police Department Detective Division, Animas Power Plant, and Farmington (NM) Public Schools (Tibbetts Junior High and then Heights Junior High), where she was employed for 22 years before retiring in 1987. Retirement kept Nell busy as a volunteer for the Women’s Auxiliary at San Juan Hospital, member of the San Juan College Cosmetology Program Board, attending daily Mass when possible, and traveling abroad with dear childhood friend, Carolyn (Recknagel) Blair. In their travels, Carolyn always said, “Nell has never met a stranger.” A 33 year breast cancer survivor, Nell volunteered to Reach for Recovery in her post-retirement years. Nell found much joy in planning and preparing meals and fed many friends and family over the years. She was an engaging hostess with an unforgettable smile. Nell loved her family and friends, and she cherished the time she spent with them. She is greatly missed by all those who knew her. Nell is survived by daughter Vicki Ruhsam and husband Von of Omaha, NE; daughter Robin Meize-Grochowski and husband Dan Grochowski of Albuquerque, NM; and son Bob Meize and wife Sherry of Magnolia, TX. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren: granddaughter Leah (Matt) Harms of Lincoln, NE, and great-granddaughters Ella, Kate, and Indi, and great-grandson Wes born in 2021; granddaughter Heidi (Ryan) Gratopp of Lincoln, NE, and great-granddaughters Charlotte and Quinn; grandson Mark Ruhsam of Omaha, NE; granddaughter Alison (Matt) Stewart of Albuquerque, NM, and great-grandsons Michael and Sebastian, and great-grandchild due Thanksgiving Day; granddaughter Molly (Luke) Crum of Austin, TX, and great-grandson Colton; granddaughter Morgan (Jake) Freiburger of Ponca City, OK, and great-grandson Hudson born in 2022; grandson Alex (Ally) Meize of Magnolia, TX; and grandson Billy (Tammy) Clayburn of Magnolia, TX, and their children and grandchildren; five nieces, two nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, and friends of all ages, all of whom she loved dearly. Nell had a tremendous love for the Lord, and her Catholic faith meant everything to her. It seems fitting that she peacefully went home to be with Jesus while staying in an assisted care home called Touched by a White Dove in Albuquerque. She was lovingly cared for there by Carmen and Curtis Hudson. Nell’s family is thankful for the excellent care from Carmen and Curtis, and from all her healthcare providers over the years. A memorial Mass will be held at 10 am on Friday, June 3, 2022, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Farmington, New Mexico, followed by placement of Nell’s ashes at the Sacred Heart Memorial Garden, located near the Church. Father Tim Farrell will be celebrant and homilist at the Memorial Mass. Friends are invited to the Mass and to a dessert reception at the Sacred Heart Parish Center, immediately following prayers at the columbarium. You may contact the family at [email protected] HAPPY (heavenly) 100th BIRTHDAY, Mom/Grandma/Gigi! We love you!

Published by Hartford Courant on May 29, 2022.

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