What Fuels Your Fire?

Dr. Charles Grandison Charlie Mead
In Memoriam

  • West Roane County Volunteer Fire Department is greatly saddened at the loss of Dr. Charles Grandison Mead, our valued volunteer, neighbor, and friend.
Dr. Charles Grandison (Charlie) Mead 1933-2009; photo by Tom van Dalen 2009
Dr. Charles Grandison Charlie Mead 1933-2009

[Dr. Mead, known to all who knew him as "Charlie," chose to write his own obituary.]

June 24, 2009

Dr. Charles Grandison Mead: After a very full and exciting life, I died today, June 22, 2009. My life has been a long series of adventures which I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience. Even this last adventure has been one that I would not have wanted to miss.

He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in March of 1933 to Neva A. Rowe and Dr. Charles H. Mead. Soon thereafter they moved to Duluth where Charlie was raised through high school and went on to earn his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, Duluth branch. During college he met his beloved wife, Barbara Andresen Mead. He earned a Master of Science degree, then a Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics, from Michigan State University, where he was elected to the Honorary General Scientific Society, Sigma Xi. His next step was a postdoctoral fellowship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he joined the Biology Division Research staff, working there until his retirement in 1976.

After retirement, Dr. Mead’s interests changed to construction of log homes and boat docks on Watts Bar Lake, then into woodworking where he became heavily involved in the craft show business. Organizations such as the Foothills Craft Guild, the Norris Coop, the Museum of Appalachia Fall Homecoming, and the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA) in Nashville allowed him to distribute cutting boards and lazysusans to many local residents. Other popular craft items were sundials and ‘Golden Mean’ calipers. He was an active member of the East Tennessee Woodworkers Guild.

He became interested in digital photography and was made the official photographer for the West Roane County Volunteer Fire Department (WRCVFD). As a very active volunteer with WRCVFD, he became an Associate Member and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also organized all the fundraising activities for the Department. He wanted to give recognition to Crystal Sloan for helping him pursue his fundraising activities and all the other duties needed to keep WRCVFD active and ready for emergencies.

He is survived by his loving wife Barbara to whom he has been married for 55 years. They celebrated their anniversary on June 18th. Other survivors include son Charles H. Mead of Rockwood; daughter Peggy Mausshardt and husband David of Incline Village, Nevada and their two sons Nick and Cory Cotter; son Dr. George Olaf Mead and his wife Donna of Cookeville and their children Heidi, Hillary, and George Allen; son Jim Mead and wife Karen of Powell and their children Tommy, Brent, and Kaylee; son Willard Mead and wife Beth of Rockwood and their children Emily and Kelly; daughter Dianne Hawk and husband Lewis of Cookeville and their children Gaven and Lena; son Warren Mead of San Francisco. Also surviving are nephew Mike Mead of California and niece Kim Homick of Duluth, Minnesota. He will be missed by his many family and friends.

His body has been donated to the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A memorial service will be held Monday, June 29 at 7:30 pm at the West Roane County Volunteer Fire Department, 1303 Pumphouse Road; Rockwood, TN 37854. The family will receive friends Monday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the West Roane County Volunteer Fire Department in memory of Charlie Mead at PO Box 417; Rockwood, TN 37854 or online at www.westroane.com. A celebration of his life will be held July 4th in the afternoon at his home at 136 Emerald Cove Lane in Rockwood. Evans Mortuary is serving the family of Dr. Charles Grandison Mead. (865.354.2600). An online register is available.

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