Meredith Lynn Craven
WILMINGTON - Meredith Lynn (Johnson) Craven, 67, died peacefully in Stow, MA, on October 21, 2020, after a long illness.
Born in Providence, RI, on August 6, 1953, “Merry” grew up in Maynard, MA, the third of six children, and lived in the surrounding area. She married Alfred “Fred” Craven on June 5, 1985 and shortly after, settled in Wilmington, where she raised their growing family and lived for over 30 years. She was a server at several local restaurants, before working at Twin Valley Middle High School’s guidance office for over 15 years.
Meredith’s home was always open to extended family and her children’s friends. It was often filled with the comforting aromas of home cooked meals. Relishing tradition, she often recalled summer days at her grandparents’ Rhode Island camp, loved displaying her Dept. 56 Christmas village, and eagerly anticipated annual vacations at the beach. She was an ardent player of board games and Bananagrams, loved drawing, and, with the creative flare of a comic book artist, often included funny illustrations in letters and thank you notes.
In 1990, with three young children, Meredith was sidelined by cancer. Though she recovered, side effects of treatment severely impaired her body. But they did not impair her spirit. Typically quiet about her own health, she raised her family with love, boundless energy, and a serious work ethic. The woods provided respite for her. One would often find signs of fairy settlements all the way down to the brook: a pebble walkway, tiny wood railing or birchbark roof, and kindling piles, neatly stacked in random spots. They were “a home for little animals”, she’d explain.
After many medical setbacks and facing a terminal condition, Meredith fulfilled a lifelong dream. In the last weeks of her life, she, her three grown children, and Koko, her beloved cocker spaniel, secured an RV and left Vermont for a road trip to experience some of nature’s incredible beauty together. After stopping at homes from Massachusetts to South Carolina to express her love and farewells with the rest of her family, and getting a last taste of the Atlantic, they headed west, experiencing a bond like no other. They visited the Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Now unable to walk and, after last goodbyes with family in Colorado, the RV returned east for Meredith’s final stop at the home of her parents in Massachusetts, where she married her sweetheart and a sister now lives. Just over 24 hours after arriving, as the sun set, she left our world for a new journey to light and love.
Surrounded by adoring family members, she joined in eternal comfort those beloved who preceded her in death: loving husband Alfred A. Craven, who died December 2019; her parents, Gordon C. Johnson, June 2020, and Jane (Turner) Johnson, January 2017; and her stepson, James Craven, who died on March 25, 2021.
Meredith is survived by her three truly dedicated children: Kajsa Craven Reed (and Ryan), of Longmont, CO, Taylor (and Allegra Cords) Craven, of Shelburne, and Eric (and Becca) Craven, of Wilmington; her stepson, Alfred A. Craven Jr., of Newport, and daughter-in-law, Melissa Craven, of Whitingham; nine grandchildren: Jairek Craven, Brianna Flanagan, Liam and Zeke Dufner, Cameron, Calab and Cole Reed, Elijah Cullinane and Pepper Jane Craven; and five siblings: Kristen (and Bill) Brandfass, of Chester Springs, PA, Kimberley Johnson (and Ken Silva), of Boulder, CO, Eric (and Kim) Johnson, of Sterling, MA, Marjorie Rhodes (and Mike Spencer), of Stow, MA, and Caroline (and Erik) Christensen of Winchester, CT; as well as myriad loving nieces and nephews.
An informal celebration of life will take place Saturday, July 31, at the home of Eric and Becca Craven, 71 Wilmington Heights, Wilmington, starting at 2 pm. An informal potluck at 5 pm will be served, featuring barbecue and drinks, with live music. All who loved Meredith are invited to drop by to join the family and may bring a side dish or dessert, if desired.