Polly Mead

September 22, 2013 

Polly Ayres Mellette Mead, 82, loving mother and grandmother, tutor and career civil servant passed away Sept. 16, 2013. Polly was born Jan. 9, 1931, in Andrews, S.C., daughter of Robert S. and Eloise Holladay Mellette.

She graduated from Winthrop College in 1951 and married Loren B. Mead of Florence, S.C. on Aug. 25 of that year. In 1957, she moved with her family to Chapel Hill, N.C., where she earned a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina.

During the 1960s, Polly worked in the Durham anti-poverty program Operation Breakthrough, and in 1969 moved with her family to Washington D.C, where she pursued a career in federal civil service. She was a leader in the TRIO Programs of the Department of Education; planning director at Gallaudet College, and later worked with the EEOC and the Office of Management and Budget. She was one of the first women selected for the Federal Senior Executive Service. She retired in 1994 and spent eight years as a volunteer tutor at the Oyster School.

“GrandPolly” was a published poet, an enthusiastic gardener, and known among her friends as a hostess extraordinaire. After living in northwest Washington for more than 30 years, she and her husband moved to Goodwin House at Bailey’s Crossroads, Va.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Loren B. Mead; one brother, William Mellette of Washington D.C.; four children, Walter, Chris, Barbara and Philip; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; one niece and four nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be sent to the Oyster School Library, to the attention of Edith Shorts, 2801 Calvert St. NW, Washington D.C., 20008; or to St. Alban’s, at 3001 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016.

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