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Obituary of George Arthur Mead
George Arthur “Art” Mead, age 81, died January 4, 2023, at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, surrounded by his family, due to “shortness of breath,” which is how he described death to his children. He will be remembered for his dry wit and dad jokes.
Art was born in Seattle, Washington, on July 1, 1941, to George E. and Catherine A. (Bartholet) Mead. Over the years, he resided in Seattle (1941- ‘63, ‘69- ‘71 and 2022), Honolulu, Hawaii (1963-‘69), Aberdeen, Washington (1971-‘83), Olympia (1983-1994), and Tumwater, Washington (1994-2021).
Art’s first job in Seattle was at age 10, selling newspapers (1951-’58). He graduated from Seattle’s Lincoln High School (1959) and went on to earn bachelor’s Degrees in political science (1963) and economics (1964) from the University of Washington. Upon graduation, Art worked for Shell Oil Company in Hawaii (1963-’69). While in Hawaii, he earned his MBA from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu (1967).
Art married Nancy McElvain on July 31, 1965, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Seattle. After they were married, Nancy joined him in Honolulu until they moved back to Seattle in 1969.
Art and Nancy moved their family to Aberdeen, Washington (1971-1983), when he bought a service station in Cosmopolis, Washington, calling it “P&K Tire Service. Art also served as a Reserve Police Officer for Cosmopolis.
In 1983, Art moved his family to Olympia, where he started a travel information display company, and had several other entrepreneurial pursuits. He worked briefly as a state Auditor Investigator for DSHS (1990-’91), which inspired his creation of FTE News Magazine for state employees that he owned, edited, published, and delivered for over 25 years (1994-2022).
In Thurston County, Art volunteered as much time as he spent working. It was his joy to serve so many organizations. He helped facilitate activities and fundraising for several community organizations, including Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Prison Ministries; and the Alpha Program in several churches, including at his own parish, St. Michael Catholic Church. He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity; Kiwanis, where he served as the PNW Lieutenant Governor; and the Salvation Army, where he often referred to himself as the head “ding-a-ling" when he organized bell ringers.
Art is survived by his wife, Nancy Mead of Olympia; daughter, Malia, and her husband, Mike Flynn of Olympia, and their daughter, Ellora; Andrew, and his wife, Sharon (Houk) Mead of Seattle, and their sons, Justin and Caden, and daughter, Jade; daughter, Erin, and her husband, John Steed of Powder Springs, Georgia, and their sons, JD and Jack; and son, James, and his wife, Rebecca (Edwards) Mead of Tumwater, Washington, and their sons, Killian and Finnley. He also is survived by his sisters, Caroline and Peter Millar of Anchorage, Alaska, and Kathleen and Neil Harrington of Helena, Montana; and many nieces and nephews. Art was predeceased by his parents.
A Catholic memorial service will be held Friday, February 17, 2023, 12:00 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1208 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501. A Celebration of Life will also be held on Friday, June 30, 2023, 10:30 a.m. at South Sound Manor, 455 North St. SE, Tumwater, WA 98501.
Memorial donations in honor of Art may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association at http://www.alz.org/alzwa.
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