January 14, 2021
Possessed with a voracious appetite for life and learning, Merrie, 62, was a May Basket surprise, born on May 1, 1958, to Robert Dean Reckert and Ann Rozeboom Reckert in Rock Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Central Lyon High School in 1976 and from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, in 1981 with degrees in urban planning and press & public relations. Meredith settled in the Denver area where she remained for almost 40 years.
Merrie then began a lifelong career as an urban planner, first at Greenwood Village, and for over 30 years as a senior planner for the City of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. In fact, her death occurred at a pet project of hers: Wheat Ridge’s Lutheran Medical Center where she received phenomenal care.
Professional and civic interests include American Institute of Certified Planners, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Elks, Audubon Society of Greater Denver, and Molly Brown Museum. She loved dancing for three decades with her local Jazzercise friends.
Competitive at games and sports, Meredith excelled at cribbage, spades, Scrabble, Jeopardy, Pictionary, croquet, and ping-pong. Kayaking and slalom skiing on Lake Clitherall, MN, while at the family cabin were dear to her heart. She followed ISU Cyclones sports and Denver Broncos fervently. Merrie was known as a water and Halloween sprite, an avid reader, a lover of the environment, champion of human and animal rights, and nurturer of all things green.
She enthused over concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater, Rock Rapids’ beautiful Island Park, sunset bonfires on Lake Clitherall, and watching storms move through Colorado’s San Luis Basin from Valley View Hot Springs.
Merrie did not die of COVID-19 per se, but her gregarious, social nature was curtailed by isolation, and cause of death is ascribed to sepsis on January 14, 2021.
We will remember her contagious Cheshire-cat smile and mischievous, light-filled green eyes; her heartfelt, infectious laughter; her lively interest in history; her inclusive, loving, big heart; her overwhelming care for the earth and all its inhabitants. She rescued both people and pets…all her life. She was a wicked mimic, and her impersonations of Cookie Fleck (from “Best in Show”) and Julia Child were spot on. Merrie and her daughter enjoyed tending their collective garden. While gardening in her absence will never be the same, her memory and legacy will live on.
Merrie was predeceased by her parents and older brother Bill Reckert, his wife Maureen, their son Michael, and recently, her precious corgi Cashew.
She is survived by daughter Elise Garcia (Fernando) Alvarado, ex-husband Tom Garcia, grandma Nora Garcia, all of Denver, CO; sister Robyn (Russ) Olson of Waukee; niece Anna Olson (Matthew) Mandel of Waukee; nephews Steve (Angie) Reckert of Larchwood and Danny (Ashley) Reckert of Sioux Falls, SD; and 10 great-nephews and -nieces whom she loved so much. This month an 11th great-niece will arrive. She is also survived by countless loyal friends (Merrie’s posse) and her beloved animals: Amazon parrot Maxine, and corgis Scout and puppy Huckleberry.
In light of her passing, please reminisce in the happy memories that can be found in the simplest of days. Merrie walks in beauty. Blessed be her memory.
Memorials may be directed to Planned Pethood International, Audubon Society of Greater Denver, or the family: Elise Alvarado, 5060 W. 36th Ave., Denver, CO 80212. Meredith‘s body will be cremated with a memorial celebration service to be held late spring in Denver. Updates will be posted at www.horancares.com.