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Barbara Meek

October 3, 2015
Barbara Meek
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Obituary for Barbara Meek

Barbara Meek, a veteran member of the Trinity Square Repertory Company, died unexpectedly on October 3, 2015. Ms. Meek joined Trinity Rep in 1968, and appeared in more than 100 Trinity Rep stage productions.

Ms. Meek was born in Detroit to Juanita (née Coleman) and Harold Meek, and was the granddaughter of the Reverend Horatius "H.H." Coleman, pastor of the Greater Macedonia Baptist Church. She was a graduate of Northwestern High School, and as an undergraduate was asked to join Wayne State University's graduate theater program. Ms. Meek was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority while attending college.

In 1965, Ms. Meek toured with the United Services Organization, performing for wounded soldiers on Okinawa and other U.S. Army bases. In 1968, she joined the Trinity Repertory Company with her husband, Martin Molson, where they debuted together in Brother to Dragons.

Highlights of Ms. Meek's stage career at Trinity Rep include leading roles in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Boesman and Lena, and Master Class. Ms. Meek also appeared in the Broadway production of Wilson in the Promised Land.
Barbara Meek is best known to television viewers for playing the character of Ellen Canby on Archie Bunker's Place. Ms. Meek's other television roles include Adrian Hall's adaptations of Brother to Dragons, The House of Mirth, and Life Among the Lowly, all broadcast on PBS.
Ms. Meek received an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from the University of Rhode Island, and the 2004 Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts. She also received the Foundation for Repertory Theatre Award, the Wayne State University Arts Achievement Award in Theatre, and the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, and the Edward Bannister and Christiana Bannister History Award.
Ms. Meek loved classical music, Aalborg Akvavit (which is no longer imported, much to her chagrin), and her daughter Leslie.
Ms. Meek was predeceased by her husband, Martin Molson, and her brother Harold Meek. She is survived by her daughter, Leslie Matuko Molson, her son-in-law Leonard Feller, and her extended theater family, whom she loved very much. Ms. Meek's final appearance was in the Trinity Rep production of Julius Caesar.
"...time is come round, And where I did begin there shall I end; My life is run his compass." (Julius Cæsar, Act V, scene 3)
A graveside service will be held Tuesday at 3pm in Swan Point Cemetery, Blackstone Blvd., Providence. Calling hours today (Monday) from 5 to 8pm in the Monahan Drabble Sherman Funeral Home 230 Waterman St., Providence. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in Ms. Meek’s memory to Trinity Square Repertory Company, 201 Washington St. Providence R.I. 02903.

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Meek, visit the Tribute Store.

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