Obituary: Rev. Norman Joseph Mead Oct. 7, 2015


Rev. Norman Joseph Mead, 94, a resident of Los Alamos, passed away after a series of health problems of increasing seriousness on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

Born 1921 in Rochester, NY, son of William Clyde Mead and Georgina Edwards Mead, he was raised on a small rural farm near Spencerport, NY, with his older brother Clyde D. Mead and the family dog Dixie. His father worked as a journeyman electrician, while his mother was a devout Christian homemaker.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Houghton College, and a Bachelor of Theology from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, near Philadelphia, PA. He was ordained in 1945 by the American Baptist Church at Bethel Baptist Church in Freeland, PA. Later, he earned a Master of Arts degree from Alfred University.

Norman married Ruth G. Crawford of Freeland, PA, on October 5, 1945. Their son, William Charles Mead, was born in December, 1946.

Rev. Mead served 42 years in the ministry, first as a Baptist minister at churches in Freeland and Westfield, PA, and Olean, NY. He then transferred to the (United) Methodist Church and served churches in Elkland and Osceola, PA, and in Corning, Coopers Plains, Hornell, Lancaster, Buffalo, and Arcade, NY. He “retired” in 1987. As a pastor, he performed hundreds of baptisms, membership and marriage ceremonies, visitations, and funerals; preached some two thousand sermons; attended or led innumerable meetings; and planned, funded, and/or carried out several building and remodeling projects. His churches supported missions and disaster relief efforts of the United Methodist Church. He and his wife led several church camps at Watson Homestead and Silver Lake, NY, for age groups from elementary through high school, serving hundreds of children and youth. He also served as an officer and member for various Conference Committees of the United Methodist Church.

Norman was a beloved husband and father. With his wife, Ruth, he raised their son Bill as provider, minister, counselor, and example, eventually sending him off to Syracuse University, Princeton University, and a career in physics. Norman loved building and maintaining the various parsonages and homes he and the family enjoyed. The family vacationed annually during allergy season at a cabin he and his wife built in the Adirondack Mountains in NY, enjoying activities available in surrounding lakes, forests, and mountains, including boating, canoeing, hiking, and sight-seeing. Not himself a skier, Norman drove tow-boat for hundreds of water ski sessions of other family members. Favorite area destinations included the St. Lawrence Seaway at Massena, NY, and the Shelburne Museum near Burlington, VT. The scenic beauty and activities of the Adirondacks became a family heritage.

Norman and Ruth retired to a new life in a home they built in Port St. Lucie, FL, enjoying continued church-related events and far-flung friendships for nineteen years, first as snow-birds and later as full-time residents.

In 2006, after his wife died, Norman moved to Los Alamos, NM, to a home near his son and daughter-in-law. He enjoyed good health until a stroke, two falls, and pneumonia led to his passing.

He is survived by his son Bill, daughter-in-law Carol, grandson Bennett, and cat Sandy.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Los Alamos. The family of Norman J. Mead has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 505.747.7477 –