ALBERTON - Chuck Mead, 75, of Alberton, passed away due to complications from cancer on April 26, 2009, at Community Medical Center with his family at his side.
Chuck was born July 2, 1933 in Cody, Wyo., to Charles and Dorothy. The family moved to a ranch west of Alberton in 1938.
After graduation from high school, Chuck worked for Helean Logging from 1951 to 1956, before moving to Missoula to work as a truck driver and a carpenter for Mission Homes from 1956 to 1965.
He married Cookie Long in 1955 and had two children. In 1965, Chuck and Al Haugh bought Paul's Second Hand store, which he helped run until 1980. In 1981, he and his wife opened Collector's Showcase, an Art and Antique Gallery, which they managed until he retired in 1995. He and his wife moved back to the Mead Ranch in 1999.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, ranching and playing pitch with his poker gang. His passion was Montana history. He served as past president for the Travelers' Rest chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. His love of Montana and its history allowed him a memory that could quote the Lewis and Clark dates coming and going. He was a past president of the Mineral County Historical Society where he helped organize and rewrite the Mineral County Historical book. He enjoyed sharing his historical knowledge on field trips in Mineral County. He was a leader in the preservation of the Mullan Trail Road. In 2005, he was awarded Outstanding Local Preservationist for service on the Mullan Road by Lt. Governor John Bohlinger. He was a lifetime member of the Nine Pipes Museum.
Chuck was very involved in his community, including serving on the Mineral Co. Weed board and several years on the Mineral Co. Resource Advisory Committee.
What we will most remember about our husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend was his sense of humor, playing a mean game of cribbage with anyone who would play with him, especially the grandkids. He was honest to a fault and expected everyone else to be so as well. He was an avid reader, finishing whatever he started even if it was boring, stating "if you started it, you finished it." Chuck never asked anyone to do something he wouldn't do or have done himself. He always found time to help and stopped and helped anyone in need. He always held the door open for people.
Survivors include his wife Cookie of Alberton; daughter Terry (Rick) Gray of Huson; and Tim (Lorraine) Mead of Omaha. He was a grandfather to Ryan (Sunny) Gray of Arlee, JoAnna Gray of Missoula, Shannon Mead of Portland and Greg (Sadye) Mead of Seattle. He was a great-grandfather to Joshua, River and Malachi. He was a brother to Barbara (Roy) Worden of Colorado, Helen (Loryl) Johnson of Superior, Margaret (Gary) O'Hara of Missouri and Harvey (Muriel) of Alaska; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on the date of his birth, at 11 a.m. Thursday July 2, at the Alberton School Gymnasium, with luncheon following.
Contributions may be made to the Nine Pipes Museum, Mineral County Historical Society or Superior Community Church.