Martha Rachel Mead, 65, of Kelly Corners passed away early Sunday morning, October 14, 2012. Martha battled lung cancer valiantly for a year with the aid of her immediate family. She was the backbone of her family and was a moral beacon to her family.
Martha was born June 28, 1947 in Yonkers to Carmen Anthony and Gertrude Rachel Prior (Pilkington). She lived in Yonkers with her brother Vincent Prior, plus an extensive extended family nearby, until around the age of 12 when the family moved to Dry Brook to live permanently in the peaceful, beauty and safety of the Catskill Mountains.
Here her family ran a machinist shop at the base of Eagle Mountain and became close friends with the people of the valley. In addition to the machine shop, the family opened their home in deer season to hunters as a bed and breakfast. Martha was home schooled, despite her love for interacting with people and learning, but like most country children, learned the values of being independent and creative at finding fun doing things alone, with friend or with family. This fun included visits from many of her relatives who lived in or near the city.
Martha met Jerry King Mead and was married a few years later on November 9, 1968. Before being married they had purchased their new home in Kelly Corners from a friend of the family, Mrs. Marie Holcumb. Martha took her first job out of the home at the sewing factory in Pine Hill while Jerry worked as a union journeyman carpenter, millwright and dock builder. In the following years, Martha worked for the U.S. Post Office and for the Hubbell and Finch family businesses in Kelly Corners. In the early ’80s, Martha and Jerry started a swimming pool and construction business. She ran a pool supply store, while managing the business without flaw and with great perfection. Jerry King and his son Jerry Vincent will continue the business.
Working from home running the business allowed Martha to raise her three children; Jerry Vincent, William Mark, who is deceased, and Shauna Rachel. Martha was truly one of the most amazing parents there has ever been. She instilled values into her children while making great effort to never expect more than her children could do, while loving them equally. She gave everything she could to help her children be happy and healthy.
Martha loved walking through the Catskill mountains, fishing, a splendid walk with her rifle hunting deer, telling stories, helping others, cooking, gardening, watching her ‘fish brothers’ in the pond, trips to the casino, family trips to the beach, of course none in the Catskills, swimming and many other activities.
Martha is survived by her husband, Jerry King Mead; son, Dr. Jerry V. Mead (Professor of System’s Ecology at Drexel University) and his son Jack Connor; daughter, Dr. Shauna Rachel Mead (Emergency Veterinarian and Animal Surgeon at Capital District Animal Emergency Clinic) and her daughter Kelanah Rachel Choate; son-in-law, Arthur Choate III; brother and sister-in-law, Vincent Anthony and Nancy Prior; Vincent and Nancy’s children, Shelly Rachel Prior, Vincent William Prior Jr., and Jason Ryall; her sister-in-law, Ellen Gray and her children Tammy and Bobby; Shirley Grant and her children, Denis and Debra; Ginny Misner and her children, Billy, Clayton, Robert, Bonnie and Gina; and her brother-in-law, Harold Mead and his daughter.
Visiting hours will be at the Hynes Funeral Home on Saturday Oct. 20 from 6-8 p.m.
Funeral services will be on Sunday Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. at the Dry Brook Church followed by a reception at the Dry Brook Community Hall. Please bring a dish to share.
Following the service, the family will hold a small, private interment at the family cemetery in Dry Brook.
Martha was a lover of all creatures. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, PO Box 88, Delhi, NY 13753 or online at www.heartofthecatskills.org.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Hynes Funeral Home, Margaretville.