Obituary, John W. Meroney

John W. Meroney, 44, of Arlington, Virginia, died Monday, September 12, 1994 at Sibley Hospital due to respiratory failure, according to his life partner of 18 years, Jon Larimore, also of Arlington.

Meroney was born June 21, 1950, in Wolf Lake, Indiana, and was educated in the area.

After serving as a medical corpsman in the U.S. Navy, he moved to the Washington, DC metro area where he worked briefly as a waiter at "The Pier" super disco. He then held supervisory and development positions with Bracewell and Paterson, Wordpro Inc., and the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse, where he reached the position of Senior Consultant, Management Advisory Services, designing systems for such clients as the Department of Transportation.

In mid-1982, Meroney founded Meroney and Associates, an office-systems consulting firm, in Washington DC. As a Certified Office Automation Professional (COAP), he authored the currently popular secondary school textbook Word Processing Applications In Practice, published by South-Western Publishing Company, now in its third edition. In addition to computer systems design for clients such as the US Postal Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Meroney's firm planned and managed conventions for major trade organizations.

Meroney served for several years on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for Northern Virginia Community College. He was also Contributing Editor for Information Records Management Magazine, and a frequently invited speaker at institutions such as the University of Maryland Graduate School, Association of Information Systems Professionals, American Institute of Industrial Engineers, Catholic University Graduate School Program, and the Federal Office Automation Conferences. His publication credits also include trade publications such as "Balance Sheet", "Information Management Magazine", "The Office", and "Century 21 Reporter".

In 1984, as an Arlington Virginia resident, Meroney worked with members of the Arlington County Board toward one of his proudest achievements, the successful enactment of the Commonwealth of Virginia's first gay employment practices regulations, covering Arlington county employees. He also served as gay community liaison to the Arlington County Police Department.

In 1986, together with Larimore, Meroney founded Community Educational Services Foundation (CESF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) community service organization. CESF operates GLIB, The Gay and Lesbian Information Bureau, a computer "Bulletin Board" offering communications and information via personal computer. In August of this year, Meroney and Larimore accepted an award in Atlanta Georgia, from the national publication "Boardwatch Magazine" as third best on-line information and communications service in the nation. GLIB has ranked among the top ten for three years.

In 1994, Meroney became a Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) and Certified Novell Administrator (CNA), qualifying him as a licensed networking integrator. In that capacity, as a Computer Scientist with Systems Coordinators, Inc. of Reston, Virginia, he taught Novell Network theory and design, networking data communications, operating systems, and office automation procedures.

In addition to his many professional interests, Meroney was active in a number of Washington area gay community organizations, including the Awards Club of Washington, and in 1982 was the founding president of the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

A natural gift in the kitchen and a love of good food gained Meroney a reputation for fine country cooking, and his GLIB parties and dinners were legendary. He also asssisted a local gay community group in support of a shelter for battered women, by cooking Sunday meals to be served there.

Larimore says: "John was a fighter. He lived with the constant pain of Cushing's Syndrome for nearly 20 years, lost and regained his eyesight, endured repeated surgery, walked painfully with a cane due to aseptic necrosis of both hips, yet he rarely complained, and never lost sight of the truly meaningful things in life. He never took "no" for an answer. He could detect BS at 20 paces and would countenance none of it. John lived "Quality In All Things", and laughingly took pride in the honorary titles bestowed upon him by GLIB members: 'Wicked Stepmother' and 'Mrs. Sysop'".

In addition to Larimore, Meroney is survived by his mother Margaret Borders, grandmother Ruth Soellinger Leakey, brother Leland R. Meroney Jr., and sister Norma Miller of Albion, IN; brother Randy Marks and sister Diana Meroney of Topeka, IN; aunt Dorothy Ernst of Bluffton, IN, stepmother Marge Meroney of Ligonier, IN; sister Debby Biggs of Tulsa Oklahoma; and former wife Joanne Meroney of Vienna, VA.

Friends were received between the hours of 6 and 9 pm, Thursday September 15th, and Friday, September 16th, at Everly-Colonial Funeral Home, 6161 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA.

A memorial celebration of Meroney's life was held at the Clarendon United Methodist Church, 606 North Irving Street, Arlington Virginia, on Sunday, September 18th, at 4 pm.