Meriel M. Schooley, 97, a former secretary and member of Springfield United Methodist Church, died April 24 at her home in Gulf Breeze, Fla.

She had cancer, said her daughter, Mary Schooley.

Meriel Mercedes Vestrem was born in Watertown, S.D., and raised in Sibley, Iowa. She was a 1936 graduate of the old Hamilton School of Commerce in Estherville, Iowa. She was a secretary for a credit union in Iowa before moving to the Washington area in 1942.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, she accompanied her husband, a former associate director of the Naval Research Laboratory, on overseas tours in Brazil and Italy.

Her memberships included the Naval Research Laboratory Wives Club and the Springfield United Methodist Church. She moved from Springfield to Gulf Breeze in 1990.

Her husband, Allen H. Schooley, died in 1979 after 40 years of marriage. A daughter, Jean Freeman, died in 2010.

Survivors include two children, Mary Schooley of Washington and Robert Schooley of Gulf Breeze; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.

Megan McDonough