Heaven has gained another angel one whose light still shines so brightly. Meridith Daniels Wesby left this earth peacefully in the early morning of Sunday, January 7, 2024. She was born in Worcester, MA May 31, 1943 to Jane (Gerety) and Clarence W. Daniels, Jr. She married the love of her life Joseph (Terry) S. Wesby, III on June 19, 1964. Her education included Bancroft School, Dana Hall School and Smith College. As a passionate lifelong learner, Meridith found joy and purpose through her education and she went on to earn her MBA from Clark University as well as a Degree in Landscape Design from Radcliffe College.
From a young age Meridith wanted to make a difference in her community, especially it was evident in her countless hours as a volunteer and leader she was especially committed to helping women and children. She was the President of the Junior League of Worcester, an organization dedicated to enrich the quality of life for women and children. This affiliation led to many other Women/Girl serving entities throughout the city, her passion for purpose and love of service created many new collaborations and alliances. She began working with the Social Services Planning Corporation which later became part of the United Way of Central MA. It was here that she and Lois Green (Co-founders) collaborated together with many other women of purpose and in 2002, founded the Women’s Initiative (WI). Today after 22 years, the mission of the Women’s Initiative continues with the same promise of hope through which it began. Meridith’s light will guide these women and young women as they continue to find their way.
Meridith was a proud member and Vice President of the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation (a Family Foundation) up until her retirement in 2017. She was the driving force on getting the Foundation on a Strategic path as to helping underserved middle school aged girls 10-14. They wanted to get funding and programming to these girls to help them thrive. She was instrumental in starting the Investing in Girls Alliance (IIGA) and together with the Foundation’s funding support, it too has grown into a powerful resource for girls and program directors throughout Worcester’s Girl Serving organizations. Meridith was unwavering in her commitment and promise to create opportunity and access for middle school girls and her talents led her to use community data to tell their story.
She wanted to help girls and women get through life’s most pressing and challenging issues. Her perseverance paid off and with the collaboration work of IIGA and WI both are accomplishing great benchmarks and goals from the data to help prepare young women during these challenging times. She was and will always be a true champion and mentor among women and girls in the nonprofit world.
Meridith always had an extraordinary eye for landscape design and gardening overall. She was meticulous in her choice of plants for her garden or any other that she was commissioned to do. She loved Tower Hill and was even the Exec. Director’s (John Trexler) personal gardener at one point in time. Flowers were her passion as well, and she loved to do flower arrangements for the family for weddings, holidays and parties.
During her working years, she worked for Wright Line and then went on to work for Digital. She was involved with Human Resources at Digital. When it merged/became Compaq and eventually Hewlett Packard, they wanted her to move to Texas for the job and she decided that her family was here and took early retirement. Retirement was the last thing on her mind and she became even more involved with the Foundation as well as all of the Boards and activities that involved her love of Worcester.
In her spare time, she loved to spend time at the theatre, in her gardens, at one of grand kids sporting events or dance competitions. She was a snowbird of sorts as she and Terry would spend the winter months in Florida and weekends in the summer at the Cape. Holidays with the family was always an extravagant affair. Lots of food, memories and traditions were started by her and will continue on long after she’s gone. Meridith lived a great story.
Meridith will be greatly missed by all those who knew her or were touched by her. She was predeceased by her parents Jane and Clarence Daniels and only by hours her sister Suzanne D. Schwaiger of North Clarendon, VT. She is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Joseph (Terry) Wesby, III of Northborough/Bourne, MA, her daughter Wendy (John) Andrews of Greenfield, MA, son Joseph (Tory) Wesby, IV (Pamela) of Rutland, MA and grand children Spencer and Hailey Wesby of Rutland, MA. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, brother in law, sister in law along with many friends and associates in the business world.
Calling Hours will be on Wednesday, January 17th from 4-7pm at Callahan, Fay & Caswell Life Celebration Home, 61 Myrtle Street, Worcester, MA.
In Lieu of flowers we ask that you make a charitable donation in Meridith’s name to
United Way of Central MA
% Women’s Initiative
18 Chestnut Street, Suite 530
Worcester, MA 01608
Earmark Meridith D. Wesby on memo Line
Or any other Girl Serving Organization in Meridith’s name.