Former drug store co-owner dies at 92
Raised in McMinnville, Mead received his pharmacology degree from Oregon State University. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, then returned to McMinnville to join the three-generation family business, Rogers Brothers Pharmacy.
In 1962, he and Kelton Peery, owner of a rival pharmacy also dating to the 1800s, merged operations to create Peery-Rogers Thrifty Drug.
In 1980, the pharmacy suffered major damage in a fire determined to have been deliberately set. Upstairs when it broke out, Mead had to brave flames to escape, suffering some burns in the process.
At the time, the community especially lamented losing the pharmacy’s popular grill, which served as a downtown meeting place for business owners, their employees and an array of other patrons. Many locals made “Coffee at Thrifty” a twice-daily ritual.
The pharmacy and grill reopened in 1981. Mead continued for four more years, then retired.
Mead was a founding member of Michelbook Country Club. He was also active in McMinnville’s Rotary Club, Elks Lodge and Knights of Pythias chapter.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara, and eldest son, Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Jeannine; four children, Mary, Melissa, Lucy and Peter Mead; three stepchildren, Tracey Saucy and Matthew and Tom Harrison; a sister, Joan Azzarelli; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Macy & Son Funeral Directors is handling arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the McMinnville Public Library.