Born: Nov. 23, 1916; in Geneva|
Died: Sept. 30, 2012; in Geneva
Allen Fox Mead, 95, died Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. He slipped away peacefully after a brief stay at Delnor Hospital. The son of LC, "Sping" and Lucy Mead, Allen was born Nov. 23, 1916, at Colonial Hospital in Geneva, which later became Community Hospital and then Delnor Hospital. He was truly a lifelong resident of the area, living most of his life in Geneva and spending the last 13 years as a founding resident of the loving community at Carriage Oaks in St. Charles. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Badger Mead, who passed away in 1964.
Allen graduated from Geneva High School and from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with a master's degree in journalism. During World War II, he was a staff sergeant at Camp McCoy. After the war, he put his journalism degree to work at the Geneva Republican, a weekly newspaper where his uncle was then publisher. Allen started at the Republican as a reporter and later became editor and publisher of the paper. He took great pleasure in continuing to cover weekly Geneva City Council meetings and Geneva High School sporting events. His high journalistic standards ensured balanced and complete coverage of local issues. His children remember well his rule about publishing letters to the editor. "I will print a letter unsigned when asked. But I must know who has written the letter so I can be accountable if I publish it." Eventually the Republican became part of Republic Printing – a successful local printing company, where Allen was the first president.
Allen was active in civic life in Geneva with many professional affiliations and organizational memberships. He was chair of the Tri-City Ambulance Board, member of the board of directors of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Community Hospital Mens Foundation. He was past president of the Geneva Lions Club and recently was honored with a Lifetime Lion award for his years of service to the organization. He was a member of the Geneva Golf Club and the American Legion, president of the local chapter of the American Friends Service Committee and the longest tenured member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. He was an active advocate for preserving and sharing local history and showed his commitment by supporting the Geneva History Center and Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley. His devotion to civic life and love for local history rubbed off on his children, but especially his oldest child, Elizabeth Safanda, who co-founded and leads Preservation Partners.
In 1998 he received Geneva's "highest lifetime honor for community service," the Wood Community Service award, which is named in honor of Bill and Elsie Wood and Burton and Nell Wood. Allen is also a member of the Geneva High School Sports Hall of Fame, where he was honored for his lifetime coverage of local sports. He rarely missed a home football or basketball game and was beloved at track meets for an unending supply of lemon drops that he doled out to athletes between events.
Allen is survived by four children, Elizabeth (Carl) Safanda of Geneva, David (Mary Lou) of Leesburg, Fla., Molly (Carole) of Northampton, Mass., and William (Mary Jane) of Parker, Colo.; six grandchildren, Barbara Montefusco (James), Allison, Ben, Elena, Christopher and Marlene; and two great-grandchildren, Logan and Taylor. He is also survived by two siblings, Charles Mead of Door County, Wis., and Elinor Martin of Tucson, Ariz.; and 11 nieces and nephews.
His sister, Patricia, preceded him in death.
The visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Yurs Funeral Home, 1771 W. State St., Geneva. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Franklin Street in Geneva. He will be buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley, the Geneva History Center or St Marks Church. For information, call Yurs Funeral Home of Geneva, 630-232-7337, or visit www.yursfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Kane County Chronicle on Oct. 3, 2012