Mead Brokaw Kibbey

  • "My dear friend Nancy and Joan and all your wonderful..."
    - Liz Runyon Mulligan
  • "Joanie, I am sorry to hear of your dads passing. I saw him..."
  • "May the God of all comfort strengthens you and your family..."

Mead Kibbey died peacefully at home, lovingly surrounded by his family. He enjoyed a long life filled with many dear friends and fascinating passions. Nancy, his fabulous wife of 68 years, was Mead's unwavering partner in every adventure and project. Funny, brilliant and charming, Mead was a joy to spend time with. He had an amazing story on every subject imaginable and told it with precision detail and impeccable timing. He was a civic leader, author, successful businessman, California historian, photographer and devoted family man. Mead loved Sacramento and gave very generously to many local organizations, serving on the Board of the California State Library Foundation, the Sacramento Pioneer Association, KVIE and KXPR, Crocker Art Museum, the Sacramento Historical Society and Sutter Hospital. The State Library's History Room Gallery is named in his honor. He was an avid supporter of the UC Riverside Museum of Photography. Mead was the longest standing member of his Rotary Club and a lifetime member of the Sutter Club. Until his death, he was an active member of Burr's Friday lunch group. Sacramento was always Mead's home. He and his sister Joan grew up on a small sheep ranch on the bluff in Carmichael. They remained each other's dearest friend until his death. He entered UC Berkeley at age sixteen where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and joined Naval ROTC. Mead graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and proudly held one of the oldest active professional engineering license in California, number 212. His Cal studies were interrupted by his Navy service in WWII. He was the executive officer of the minesweeper YMS 350 at age 22. His ship swept the English Channel in preparation for the D-Day Invasion, snagged a German mine and sank off Cherbourg France. He rescued two injured crewmen despite suffering a broken and dislocated shoulder himself. He told the story of holding the drowning men's lifejackets in his teeth as he swam the diesel filled waters to the rescue ship. Mead was a true war hero, earning the prestigious Navy and Marine Corp Medal and the French Legion of Honor medal. After the war, Mead began his career in the lumber business and had a successful mill and wholesale company for forty years. Mead didn't have hobbies, he had passions, including photography, ancient Egypt, antiquarian books, railroads and California Gold Rush history. He taught himself hieroglyphics and carved enormous granite statues with hand tools similar to the Egyptians. Married in 1950, Mead and Nancy raised their large family in the house they built in Sacramento. Many memorable birthdays, weddings and Fourth of July extravaganzas took place at their lovely home. Mead cherished family time and travels together, especially summers at Lake Tahoe sailing, hiking and mornings with the Snoops. He leaves behind his beloved wife Nancy Turner and six children, twelve grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, with two more great-grandsons arriving this year. His children: Rodney Flournoy, Alison, Muffy (Scott Tolmie, Simone), Joanie (John Capurso, Anna, Katie), Lark Ohta (Tim Higgins, Derek, Tim, Jamie, Noelle), and Liz Gosnell (Lew, Kibbey, Riley). His son Turner predeceased him in 2010 and Turner's sons and wife survive Mead: Jason, Ian, Andrew, and Elizabeth; great-grand-children, Turner and Paloma. He leaves his favorite sister Joan Taylor and her sons, Christopher and Robert and their families, as well as the Kearneys. Special thanks to Lia and her family for their stellar care of Mead his last year of life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mead B. Kibbey California State Library Fellowship. At Mead's request, services are private.
Published in The Sacramento Bee from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7, 2018
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