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Kirtland Chase MeadJune 9, 1943 ~ November 26, 2017 (age 74)
Kirtland Chase Mead, of Cambridge and Marion, Massachusetts died unexpectedly at home of a presumed heart attack on November 26, 2017. He was born in Huntington, New York on June 9, 1943.
Kirt graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1961 and from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1965. He was a Fulbright scholar in Freiberg, Germany, in 1965-1966. He received a master’s degree in Physics from Stanford University in 1968, and a PhD in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973.
Kirt later credited his Fulbright in Germany with changing his life. He loved European history and culture and pursued all opportunities to experience them. With his family, he lived in Paris from 1977-1981 and in London from 1986-1992. He wrote guides to these and many other European cities and shared them with friends and family. He also gave witty and learned presentations on European history, on which he was an expert.
Kirt was a true Renaissance man, with unusually wide interests. He was devoted to the life of the mind and read voraciously in three languages. He loved maps and collected Baedecker guides, further evidence of his love of the broad world and all the ways that people have travelled, understood, and celebrated it through the ages.
Kirt had a varied and successful international management consulting practice, most recently with the Leading Edge Forum in London. He was a natural teacher and thrived on leading executive education programs. He had the ability to understand complex management and technical challenges and to communicate them in straightforward ways.
Kirt leaves his wife of 48 years, Susan Eldredge Mead, and his daughters Lindsey Eldredge Mead (Matthew Russell) of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Hilary Whitman Mead (Terence Gilheany) of Middletown, Delaware. He had four adoring grandchildren, Grace Eldredge Russell, Samuel Whitman Russell, Hannah Mead Gilheany, and Margaret Mead Gilheany. He was predeceased by his parents, Lawrence Myers Mead, Jr. and Janet Chase Mead, and by his brother Jonathan Taylor Mead. He leaves two brothers, his twin, Lawrence Myers Mead III of New York City, and Bradford Machado Mead of Simsbury Connecticut, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends all over the world.
Kirt often said that “life is the stories you tell your grandchildren,” and in his too-short years he accumulated many. In addition to traveling and reading, he was passionate about sailing, music, friends, collecting books, and fine wine. He will be remembered among his family and friends for his extraordinary intellect and zeal to debate, his willingness to listen even when he disagreed, his wry sense of humor, and his loyalty.
A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. on Sunday December 3, 2017 at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, 124 Front Street, Marion, MA. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Wesleyan University (Fund for Student International Travel, in honor of Kirt Mead), 318 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459 or the Beverly Yacht Club (Junior Sailing Program, in honor of Kirt Mead), 99 Water Street, Marion MA 02738.