Cover photo for Robert & Joanne Meade's Obituary

Robert & Joanne Meade

April 14, 2021

Joanne Jean Mosher Meade August 8, 1930 – February 23, 2016

Robert Eugene Meade May 11, 1930 – April 14, 2021

Joanne Mosher was born in Milton Michigan and grew up on a farm in South Bend, Indiana. She played viola in the South Bend Symphony, graduated from Mishawaka High School and worked at a clothing boutique.  She realized she wanted more out of life than hanging out with friends, going to dances and having fun on the beach. She obtained her private pilot license at the age of eighteen and received a scholarship to The Art Institute of Chicago.  After moving to Chicago to attend the Art Institute, she stayed with a family and worked to support herself.  Her education was interrupted for a brief period of time to care for her mother.

Robert Meade was born in Chicago Illinois. He lost his father when we was twelve years old. He began working at a young age in order to help support his family. A few of his numerous jobs were a pinsetter in a bowling alley where he started a strike for better pay, in a sausage factory, serving at a lunch counter, oiler in a factory, shoe-shiner and paperboy. Growing up he lived with his Mother, his Aunt Kate and his sister Carol in an apartment in Chicago.  He graduated from Leo High School and enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Now begins the greatest love story of all time. Joanne saw Bob in the hall and remembered he had dark eyes and a very intense look. Bob remembers Joanne with big black eyes and nice arms, “I don’t think she even noticed me.”  Apparently she did and two weeks later Bob asked Joanne to marry him. She didn’t say yes immediately but soon afterwards accepted his proposal.  Bob graduated from the Art Institute and was promptly drafted. They married on January 24, 1953 and three days later he was sent to Germany. Joanne briefly joined Bob in Germany. After being discharged, Bob worked in advertising and went back to school to obtain his Bachelor’s in Art Education.  They lived in Chicago for the next four years.

Bob wanted to begin his Master’s degree in Art Education so they moved to Mexico City with their four children. They had to return with their five children to the United States after a year as both of them became seriously ill.  Joanne recuperated on her parents’ farm with the children and Bob recuperated in Chicago with his mother.  They lived in Chicago for three more years while Bob taught at St. Philip Basilica High School.  Albuquerque, New Mexico was their next destination with their six children. Bob finished his Masters in Art Education at UNM and got an offer to teach art in the Los Alamos Public schools. They left Albuquerque with their seven children. When they moved to the house on Walnut Street in 1965, Joanne told Bob, “That’s it, no more moving, this is where we stay” and they did for the rest of their lives. They had two more children in Los Alamos.

During the many years they lived in Los Alamos, these two magical people raised nine children and continued creating art. They were always helping those less fortunate. They were not only great teachers in art and food but in the art of living well to all who were blessed to know them. They started a chimney sweep business, took the whole family on camping trips every year, including a three month trip around the United States in a 1965 Dodge compact van. That’s eleven people in case you’ve lost count!  The family ground their own grain, baked bread, had a garden, raised chickens and kept bees all in order to be more self- sufficient.  Bob and Joanne were pioneers in trying to save the environment and believed in not wasting anything. This was all accomplished while working full time, Bob as an art teacher for many years and later at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Joanne as a Mom, artist, chef
and school bus driver.  Joanne was notorious for coming up with some of the scariest Halloween pranks for the kids on Walnut Street as some of them (older now of course) can surely attest!

Their desire to create led them to buy land and build a geodesic dome in Truchas, New Mexico and later create a work of art they called home in Port Orford, Oregon. Splitting their time between Los Alamos, Port Orford and traveling the world, they made the most of their retirement well into their eighties.

Bob and Joanne had a philosophy that art should encompass every part of life. They were endlessly curious and lifelong students. They used their creativity and ingenuity to raise their family of eleven on a teacher’s salary and their children were not only fortunate but blessed to be surrounded by an abundance of love, laughter, joy, good food, passion and fun. They always encouraged their children to follow their own paths.

Bob and Joanne will be remembered for so many things, but especially Bob for his laugh and laughter, Joanne for the ability to bend time and accomplish herculean feats and both of them for their beautiful, amazing art.

There is no better way to end this tribute than a portion of a poem Bob wrote to Joanne on their Fiftieth wedding anniversary,

“And comes the final curtain call We sing with glee We had it all We have had it ALL!”

Bob and Joanne will be loved, missed and remembered forever by their nine children and spouses, eighteen Grandchildren and spouses, twenty Great Grandchildren, Bob’s sister Carol and her family and many, many, many good friends.

If you wish, contributions can be made to the following organizations Bob and Joanne were passionate about:

New Mexico Children’s Foundation Save the Children Alzheimer's Foundation of America Food Depot in Santa Fe - Northern New Mexico’s Food Bank Self Help Inc. in Northern New Mexico

No Memorial is scheduled at this time.

The family of Robert Meade has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of the Espanola Valley.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert & Joanne Meade, please visit our flower store.

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