Michael Mead, a founder of the land trust, died of Leukemia on Monday, September 5, at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Barbara; his children, Jonathan and Jennifer, Geoffrey and Marianne; his grandchildren, Joseph, Matthew, Andrew and Emily; and his many friends on Grindstone Island, throughout the Thousand Islands and Long Island.
Mike was born on Staten Island where he graduated from St. Peters high school. He graduated from SUNY Oswego, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education. As a post graduate, he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from C.W. Post College, and Master’s Degrees in Mathematics and Administration from New York Institute of Technology.
A lifelong teacher, Mike first taught Automotive Technology at Island Trees Public Schools for 10 years. While there, he was vice president of the United Teachers of Island Trees. Most of his career was spent at Great Neck Public Schools where he was a teacher of Technology, Mathematics and then Dean of Students at Great Neck South High School.
In 1978, Mike and Barbara purchased property on Grindstone Island after being introduced to the area by close friends. The family has spent each summer on Grindstone Island since then.
Concern over the threat of rampant development prompted Michael and a few friends from Grindstone to form the Thousand Islands Land Trust in 1984. In the ensuing years as a TILT trustee, he served in various volunteer capacities including Vice-President, Executive Committee member and Chair of the Easement and Property Stewardship Committee.
During this time he was instrumental in expanding TILT from an organization founded on Grindstone Island, to one that protects over 8,000 acres of land throughout the St. Lawrence River Valley. His dedication to stewardship and his hand-on know-how found him frequently with tools in hand, at work on a trail or preserve.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Thousand Island Land Trust, P.O. Box 238, Clayton NY 13624, to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202, or to your favorite charity.