Irving MacPherson Mead, 70
Irving “Mac” MacPherson Mead, 70, of Bridgton, formerly of Las Vegas, Nevada, died Monday, April 3, 2017, surrounded by family and friends, at home in Bridgton.
"Mac" was born to James E. Mead and Madeleine MacPherson Mead, in Orange, N.J., on Dec. 16, 1946, along with an identical twin brother. He was raised in Chatham, N.J., in a tribe of seven brothers and sisters, and a myriad of seven types of pet animals. "The Twins" were known as "characters" with a fun, mischievous spirit, and their chameleon-like personas of Eddie Haskell and Beaver (of “Leave It To Beaver”) were interchangeable.
Mac developed a passion for hockey in his early years, playing competitively; taking to the ice again in his late 50s, in a Las Vegas adult league. Other passions were skiing, sailing, traveling, geography, history (especially WWll), the Beach Boys, fun, and GIRLS…“California Girls" could have been written by Mac because he lived it!
During Mac's college years, academics took a back seat as he continued pursuing his passions. His academic attempt (five colleges in five years, in four states) played out similar to the song, “This Land Is Your Land.” "This land is your land. This land is my land. From Colorado, San Luis Valley, to Cape Cod Bay. From the Iowa cornfields to the Louisiana Cross Bayou, This land was made for you and me." The "academia" years were challenging for Mac. However, he earned his degree, and excelled with honors at having a good time, all along the way!
After Mac completed his "Academia Mania Marathon" he entered the family's manufacturing business, Mead-Wilbert; established by his grandfather Fred Jerome Mead in 1908, in Wayne, N.J. As a salesman, Mac was tenacious. He'd go out, cold call the competitor's customers, and get them! Mac worked at the family business until it was sold, and the company continues today as the Crews-Farrell-Mead Company.
Mac's passions, along with a business opportunity, led him to Las Vegas, Nev. While in Vegas, Mac had celebrity-like appeal to celebrities! At McCarran Airport, during a "Self Check-In Debacle," Mac, appearing distressed and in need of help, was approached by Las Vegas originals, Siegfried & Roy. As with their lions and tigers, Siegfried & Roy connected with Mac and "tamed" him. They took charge, and, with great care, directed Mac to where he needed to be. Together, they boarded the same flight to Mexico. From that day, Mac always praised Siegfried & Roy for their genuineness. While at Lake Mead one weekend, "Sir Paul McCartney" asked Mac to join him for a drink. McCartney had originally mistaken him for a Kennedy, as Mac walked past McCartney's table returning from the men's room. McCartney initiated conversation, and Mac gave him a story. McCartney understood Mac was alone at the bar, so Paul invited Mac to join him at his table rather than be alone. Mac then acquired the nickname "Kennedy" by his Vegas friends. Mac's last working adventure was driving a limousine in Las Vegas. One of his notable "pickups" (he'd prefer a blonde) was Tony Bennett. Tony graciously invited Mac to join him at a later time, and Mac replied politely: "Sorry, I'm too busy." Mac was not enamored by the "glitz and glam" of Las Vegas. He had more substance than that. His favorite spot was Mount Charleston, Nev., a short drive from “The Strip,” up into the mountains and pines, away from it all.
Mac was a person that needed little inspiration to keep going during almost intolerable circumstances. As a four-year stroke survivor, he was “The Comeback Kid.” Strong-willed and determined, Mac struggled daily and courageously to regain the ability to walk and talk again. He succeeded to walk with a cane and every day made gains with communicating. Mac worked very hard, every day, to get his life back to "normal," and was grateful, every day, for the support he received in pursuit of normalcy. HE NEVER GAVE UP. One thing Mac never lost was that "twinkle" in his eye. You could see the passion he had for living in that bright twinkle. In his own way, he had the power to light up the room or the conversation, even though communication was limited and difficult with his aphasia.
Mac's knack for making people laugh drew people to him, and they couldn't resist loving him back. He lived life with integrity, humility, fun, humor, kindness, strength, determination, and courage. He was a true gentleman to the core.
Mac showed us all how powerful the human spirit is, and his spirit will live on in many, indefinitely. "ALL HEART"…That's what Mac was.
As Mac would say: "From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU."
To: Dr. Roy, Dr. Boedeker, Sam Gagnon, and ALL the medical/administrative staff at Bridgton Hospital for Mac's great care. Bridgton Hospital was like a second home to us (we covered every inch) and we are forever grateful for all you did.
To: ALL at Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice for the compassionate support and care we received. You were all angels, and we are forever grateful for all you did.
To: EVERYONE at Hannaford’s Pharmacy for ALWAYS being professional, accommodating, and pleasant.
Mac is survived by his son Ian Mead of Denville, N.J.; identical twin brother F. Jerome Mead of Oldsmar, Fla.; brothers James E. Mead Jr. of Beaufort, S.C., and Robert E. Zawistowski of Bridgton; sisters Madeleine Mead of Long Valley, N.J., Margaret Mead of W. Palm Beach, Fla., Sally Dietrich of LaQuinta, Calif., Maria Cholanian of Wilmington, N.C., and Maura Mead of Bridgton; five nieces and five nephews; three grandnieces and four grandnephews; and Eddie, the cat. Mac is also survived by his beloved and devoted, lifelong brothers in friendship of 55 to 60 plus years, Duke Krause of Princeton Junction, N.J., Bill Tynan of Cedar Grove, N.J., and Richard Provost of Darien, Conn. Last but not least, Mac's "Special Girls" Miranda Graham of Casco; Helen Bushong of Harrison; and Deb Cates of Stowe, Vt. Mac loved his girls!
In honor of Mac, memorial donations may be made to The Arc/Morris Chapter at 1 Executive Dr., Morris Plains NJ-07950, arcmorris.org, the agency for the developmentally-disabled where Mac's oldest sister is well-cared-for.
Thank you, from the bottom of ALL of our hearts.
The Mead Family