James W. Mead, age 80, of Brainerd, passed away on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Society, Pine River. Jim was born on May 20, 1940, to Fallace and Laila Mead in Brainerd. He lived with his family in Iowa and North Dakota and later returned to Brainerd where he graduated from high school. Following the death of his infant son, Jim joined the US Army where he proudly served tours in Korea and Vietnam. After leaving the service he resided in California for many years where he owned a janitorial service and worked other vocations until returning once again to Brainerd to care for his parents.
Jim was a long-time AA member and proud of his 35-year sobriety. He had a love for gardening and became known to many as “Dr. Pumpkin” or “Pumpkin Jim” because of the enormous pumpkins he grew. Jim had an upbeat, natural love for life that was filled with a sense of humor and enthusiasm that always seemed to lift your spirits. He truly enjoyed doing things that were encompassed around people, such as talking and telling stories over coffee, going to breakfast with friends at the café, listening to local bands play and spending time with family. Jim’s exuberant, spitfire personality and boisterous laugh seemed to draw people to him, and he will be greatly missed by many.
Jim is survived by his daughters, Janet (Craig) Borstelmann of Moorpark, CA and Cynthia Lemaster of Clovis, CA; six grandchildren; four great grandchildren; siblings: Sharon (Toichi) Sasaki of Yokohama, Japan, Michael (Karen) Mead of Ocala, FL, Darrell (Deb) Mead of Maple Gove, MN, Carol (Steve) Windorski of Pine River, MN, Gaylene (Dan) Hamm of Riverton, MN; many nieces and nephews; numerous great nieces and nephews; and special “adopted” son, William Radcliffe. He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Marvin.
A memorial for Jim is being planned.
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