Mary Jane Estes Mead

Mary Jane Estes Mead was born at home July 28, 1926, in Rifle, Colorado. Mary Jane participated in 4H as a youth and worked at Poole’s Hardware for seventeen cents an hour. She graduated from Rifle Union High School in 1944 and was united in marriage with Norman Hershel Mead on May 26th of that same year. They made their home on a ranch near Porcupine Creek. Mary Jane and Norman had seven children, Loren Herbert, Linda Sue, Becky Jo, David Norman, Debra Jane, Ronald Dale and Beth Elaine. As a member (along with neighbors and other family members) of the Cache and Beaver Creek Extension Club she helped prepare a booth for the county fair for many years, as well as making pies for Apple Pie Day. She gardened, canned bushels of fruits and vegetables, raised and butchered chickens, helped with the ranch and cooked marvelous meals for her large family, always with dessert. She was very active in the First Christian Church and enjoyed serving as deaconess and church board treasurer, as well as baking communion bread. She loved to sing the church hymns, popular music and campfire songs, and read poetry. She could recite many from memory. After the kids were all in school she went to work for Clagett Memorial Hospital, and later worked at Rifle Hardware.

Mary Jane wrote many stories about her beloved family and community. She loved animals, both wild and domestic, and always fed and watched birds. Mary Jane was preceded in death by her husband Norman and her son Loren Herbert. She is survived by daughters Linda Harmon, Becky (Duane) Piper, Debra Grizzle (Chuck Bergonzini) and Beth Brock; daughter-in-law Pam Mead; sons David and Ron (Vicki), twelve grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. Mary Jane is also survived by a sister, JoAnn (Donald) Dorrell, brothers Lee (Darlene) Estes, Jim (Sheila) Estes and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins. Services will be held Monday, June 1, 2015, at 11 a.m. at the First Christian Church, 306 East 3rd St, Rifle, Colorado.

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