Catherine Meriel Ross
Catherine was born in 1925 in Morganton, N.C, one of three children born to the late David Roscoe Peeler and Dessie Ann Ivester Peeler. She was a standout basketball player, earning all-state honors, at Morganton High School, which is where she met the love of her life, William C. Ross Jr. She was independent and headstrong even then, and once climbed out her bedroom window to go on a date with him.
When William returned to the United States after World War II, the couple settled in Boone, N.C., where he graduated from Appalachian State. They liked the area so much, as Meriel often said, that they never wanted to come down off the mountain. William taught social studies and drama at Watauga High School, worked at the radio station and played the lead in the "Horn In the West" for many years. Meriel worked in the registrar's office at Appalachian State for 30 years before they both retired.
William died in 1988 and, while she missed him terribly, Catherine continued to live in Boone. She enjoyed golf, playing bridge and reading, particularly mystery novels, and the library often called her whenever they got a new offering from one of her favorite authors. She kept a record of every book she read in a little red notebook that was brimming with pages filled with titles.
Catherine was also able to live independently until her death, and that was very important to her.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Catherine was preceded in death by her brother, David Roscoe Peeler, and sister, Margaret Peeler Harbison.
She is survived by five nieces and nephews and their families, including Alison Peeler of Winston-Salem, N.C., Helen Ross of Greensboro, N.C., Ann Harbison of Kings Mountain, N.C., Doug Peeler of Singapore and David Harbison of Blythewood, S.C.