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'Get to work': Marion community remembers long-time editor Joan Meyer

Joan Meyer
Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 19, 2023

MARION, Kan. — The Marion County Record is still waiting on their seized equipment to be analyzed after the affidavit was revoked.

A long week in the Marion County Record's pursuit of justice ends with them laying to rest their long-time editor Joan Meyer.

Joan Meyer
Obituary for Marion County Record editor, Joan Meyer.

Joan Meyer spent most of her life in a six-mile radius of Marion.

The people closest to her got to hear some of her last words, "Where are the good people?"

According to her pastor, they're right here in the city of Marion.

"The one that keeps coming back to me is her standing out the side yard of our house. She liked to pitch for the neighborhood baseball team because we didn't have anyone to pitch," said her son, Eric Meyer, who is also the owner and publisher of the Marion County Record.

Joan Meyer
Memorial for Joan Meyer outside of the Marion County Record.

Try as they might to recall their memories, for many of them, thinking of Joan Meyer almost always includes the Marion County Record.

"No one touched her copy," Eric Meyer said.

She knew exactly what she wanted to say and how she wanted to say it. Beverly Hoch, a longtime friend of the family, got used to that.

"My family had the newspaper for about four generations," said Hoch.

She was among this small town of a couple thousand people who always knew Joan Meyer as a journalist.

"I loved to read her 145-year-ago column because I knew I was reading things my grandfather wrote," she said.

Joan Meyer's deadline was not something she toyed with, but sometimes in writing history, you don't realize you'll be a part of it, especially at 98 years old.

"In Heaven, she's looking down saying it's a mess. It's just a mess. There's no way around it," Hoch said.

Some of her last moments were the police raid on her home and newspaper. She would want to know the newspaper is seeking justice.

Valley United Methodist Church
Marion Police Department escorting the funeral procession for Joan Meyer.

"One of the last (conversations) before she got sick and died, I said, 'Just wait, this will get better.' She said, 'Yeah, but I probably won't be alive to see it.' Five minutes later she died," Eric Meyer said.

Her deadline was expected but also unexpected.

"When you're 98 years old, you know it's coming soon. She had actually several months ago said, 'When I die, this is the outfit I want to be buried in. I put it right here in my closet.' Since then, she rearranged her closet so I couldn't find it when it came time," Eric Meyer said.

In the chaos and fight for accountability, they know Joan Meyer would want them to fight for the truth as hard as they fight for her.

Joan Meyer
Funeral service for 98-year-old Joan Meyer in Marion, Kansas.

"She'd say, 'You're doing your job. Keep doing it. Get to work,'" Eric Meyer said.

And even if she's not holding the pen and paper, she would know there's still a story to be told.

"There's a need for people to come forward," Eric Meyer said. "When there's wrong, come forward. That's what was so distressing for her. In the first days of this thing, the people hadn't come forward. As the pastor said, they were on the way."

Eric Meyer said while their equipment has been released, it's being checked by a forensic analyst. They expect to get it back by Sunday.