Jeanne Douglass Mead
Jeanne Douglass Mead, 93, passed away unexpectedly on Christmas Eve 2020 at Westminster Canterbury in Lynchburg. Jeanne was born at home to George Douglass and Jeannette Christgau Douglass on May 7, 1927 in Plainview, Minnesota. The oldest of three, she grew up in Plainview, a small but thriving town where her parents owned and operated Christgau & Douglass Drug Store. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she sang with the University Chamber Singers and a jazz group called the Johnnycats. After graduating in 1949, she took a job at White Sands Proving Grounds as an activities director for the servicemen's club. There she met Cpl. William Marston Mead, a handsome Texan, brilliant mathematician, and gifted jazz pianist. They were married on May 18, 1952 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Plainview. They made their first home in Blacksburg, where Bill obtained his Master’s in Statistics at Va Tech. They then lived in Fort Worth, Lynchburg, and Houston. In 1961, they settled in Lynchburg, where Bill was employed by Babcock & Wilcox until his retirement.
Jeanne stayed home while their three children were still in school, while also staying active in garden clubs, bridge clubs, and local chapters of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Colonial Dames. She enjoyed volunteering with Book Buddies and as a poll worker. She was a professional alto soloist, and sang in the choirs at First Presbyterian Church and Court Street Methodist Church for many years. She was an avid golfer and won many trophies with the Oakwood Women’s Golf Association. She was thrilled to be hired as a genealogist at Jones Memorial Library, where she worked happily for a number of years. Jeanne and Bill loved to travel, and they had adventures all over the United States, Canada, Europe, the British Isles, and Egypt. Jeanne was a life-long Democrat, and was looking forward to the inauguration of Joe Biden and a return to democratic norms. She was beloved by everyone who knew her for her grace, her humor, her optimism, and her kindness. She constantly sought beauty, especially in nature and in music.
Jeanne is survived by her daughter, Diana Mead of North Garden, VA; Diana’s daughter, Gigi Mead of Brooklyn, NY; her son, William Marston Mead, his wife, Lisa Phillips, and their daughter, Clara Mead, all of Woodstock, NY; her daughter, Melinda Mead of Lynchburg, VA; her sister Anne Douglass of Taos, NM; and six nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, Alan
Douglass, and by William Marston Mead, her husband of 55 years. The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff of Westminster Canterbury. They gave Jeanne consistently excellent care during an extremely challenging year. Due to the pandemic, there will be no memorial service. There will be a private internment of her ashes at Falling Spring Presbyterian Church in Glasgow in the spring. Donations in her memory may be made to Jones Memorial Library, 2311 Memorial Ave, Lynchburg, VA, 24501.