Caroline Willis "Poppy" Richardson Mead, 67, of Bethlehem, PA., formerly of Greenwich died Thursday, October 4, 2012, at Muhlenberg Hospital after a lengthy illness.
Born on December 28, 1944, she was a daughter of the late Wallace James and Caroline (Willis) Richardson. After an early childhood spent in Maryland and Indiana, she and her family settled in the Lehigh Valley in 1949. An accomplished artist, she graduated from Moravian Preparatory School, Bethlehem, and earned the B.S. in design from Drexel University.
Caroline was the first woman advertising salesperson in the history of the Chicago Tribune. She continued her career in advertising sales in Greenwich, Connecticut and in Fairfax County, Virginia, before making the transition from writing for those on the microphone and camera to being one of them.
She was an on-air personality for Washington, D.C.'s top-rated radio station in the 1980s before joining Fairfax County's Public Broadcasting Service affiliate as a writer, producer and host of a variety of public affairs programs. She returned to the Lehigh Valley in the 1990s, and served as a volunteer in the emergency department at Muhlenberg Hospital and as a reader for the "Books on Tape" program for the blind.
For all her professional accomplishments, however, Caroline considered her most important job to be the exemplary and joyful mother she was to her son, Peter, whose character and achievements serve as her proudest legacy.
Caroline was best known for her innate sense of style, irreverent humor, love of children and instinctive graciousness, as well as her curiosity about the world around her and her command of language. Her home reflected her love of books and flowers, and was always well-stocked with both.
She is survived by her son, Peter R. Mead(Juliana D.) of New York City; sisters, Ann Richardson (R. Keating) Hagmann, Esq. of Cos Cob, Connecticut, and Helen Hope Richardson, Esq. of Yardley, Pennsylvania; two nieces, Caroline Richardson Hagmann of Stamford, Connecticut and Elizabeth Keating (Christoph T.) O'Donnell, M.D., of Concord, Massachusetts, and two grand-nieces.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, October 10th, at 11:00 a.m. at Packer Memorial Church on the campus of Lehigh University, Bethlehem. Friends may call at the church from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Interment will follow at Holy Saviour Cemetery, Bethlehem. In lieu of flowers, her family has requested that donations be made in her memory to Moravian Academy, 7 E. Market St., Bethlehem, PA 18018, for the benefit of the school's art and music programs, or to Lehigh Valley Health Network, Development Department, 2100 Mack Boulevard, 6th Flr., Allentown, PA 18105, for the benefit of OACIS/Palliative Medicine Services.