Mary D. Mead, 103, of Russell, Kansas, died on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at the Wheatland Nursing Home surrounded by her loving family.
Mary was born on January 15, 1916, in Johnston, Rhode Island to Germano and Anastasia (Girardi) Torrice who were immigrants of D’Evandro, Italy. Mary was one of 7 children and grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island. She was a secretary in the Pentagon during WWII. She met her future husband Jay Mead, who was from Waldo, Kansas, in Washington DC at a ballgame. Jay and Mary met while Jay was a soldier waiting to be shipped out for overseas duty. After Jay’s return, Mary and Jay were married on October 02, 1944, at the Church of Saint Teresa of Avila in Providence, Rhode Island. Mary would say that her new life began when she moved to Kansas, which meant life would be without butchers and bakers and a great distance from everyone and everything she knew. She was a quick learner becoming a wonderful homemaker, and everything was made from scratch and laundry was done on a wringer washer and hung outside to dry. She often said she came to Kansas and got healthy. She resided at the homestead near Waldo until November 2000, when she moved to September Apartments in Russell and enjoyed many activities with the ladies who lived there. Mary will be remembered for her ability to put on a meal for a crowd with seemingly little effort. She was a master at cinnamon rolls, homemade pizza and lemon meringue pie that people fought over at community dinners.
Mary is survived by her sons Stephen Mead of Hesston, Kansas, Allen Mead (Sandy) of Kismet, Kansas and Mark Mead (Patty) of Russell, Kansas; daughter Jackie Brown (Kevin) of Oberlin, Kansas; ten grandchildren, twenty-one great grandchildren, sister Yolanda DePalo of Providence, Rhode Island, many nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.
A celebration of the funeral mass for Mary will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell. Burial will follow at the Grand Center Cemetery north of Waldo, Kansas. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Monday, September 23, 2019, at the mortuary with family greeting guests from 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. Monday evening. Immediately following the graveside service the family would like to invite all funeral guests to join them for a lunch at the Waldo Senior Center in Waldo, Kansas. Memorials may be given to the Waldo Senior Center and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas, is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.