January 29, 1923 – October 14, 2023
Del was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Jack and Lucille Delco. As a young woman she became a professional dancer and toured with the USO entertaining troops. She also worked as a magician’s assistant and bragged that she was actually sawed in half!
She married John N. Mead in October of 1946 when he returned from serving during WWII. They lived in Oscoda, Michigan where she worked as a secretary at the local high school. They had a daughter, Gayle, born a year later and a son, John L. Mead, born in 1955.
In 1957, they moved from Michigan to Renton, Washington where her husband, John, took a position as a computer programmer for Boeing and another daughter, Kelly, was born in 1962. Del worked for a brief time for Container Corporation and shortly thereafter went to work for the City of Renton where she served as City Clerk until 1982 and volunteered at the front information booth in City Hall until 2000.
Del was active in many organizations such as Eastern Star when she lived in Michigan. She served for 37 years with the Soroptomist of Renton as well as the Kiwanis Clothes Bank where she began contributing in 1967, served on the Board of Directors, became President in 2000 and served until she was 88 years old.
When asked why she worked so tirelessly and dedicated so much of her time to those in need she said, ‘Because I lived through the depression, been there, done that and helping those over the rough bumps in life is very important. Helping others is so gratifying, self- fulfilling and gives meaning to your life.’
In honor of her dedication and service to the community of Renton, the Mayor declared an official ‘Del Mead Day’.
Del was preceded in death by her husband, John, January 27, 1986 and daughter, Kelly, July 8, 2023. She is survived by her daughter, Gayle Ware (Pat) of Eugene, Oregon, son, John L Mead, granddaughter, Niki Eklof, of Kent, Washington, grandson Adam Wohlwend (Sarah), of Murchison, Texas and one great grandson, Ryan Eklof of Renton, Washington.
Del passed away peacefully in her sleep at Valley View Nursing Home on October 14, just shy of her 101st birthday.
Donations can be made to the Renton Clothes Bank in her honor.
She will be sorely missed by her family and everyone who was privileged to know her. Her family will honor and remember her with a celebration of life when they gather for the Christmas holiday in Eugene, Oregon.