Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

December 26, 2012

Marsha Mead

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Marsha Mead, 59, of Bluefield, Virginia, died Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at the University of Virginia Medical Center Palliative Care Unit in Charlottesville, Va. following a sudden downturn in her long struggle with ovarian cancer. She was surrounded by family members.

Marsha was born in Monterey, Calif., where her father was stationed at the U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Language School. She was the daughter of Doris Groves and George Adkins.

The 1971 Valedictorian at Greenbrier West High School in Charmco, W.Va., Marsha attended Concord University. She was editor of the Concordian student newspaper, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Concord in 1975. Following two years as a teacher at Stoco Elementary in Raleigh County, W.Va. and at Crumpler Elementary in McDowell County, W.Va., Marsha enrolled in the Master of Counseling program at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. where she received a Master of Science Degree in 1980. As an employee of the Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center in Welch, W.Va. from 1979 to 1983, Marsha rose to the position of Welch Clinic Director. From 1984 to 1991, she was employed by the Cumberland Mountain Community Services Board, serving in a variety of out-patient counseling capacities in its Tazewell County, Virginia service area.

In the fall of 1991 Marsha entered full-time studies at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. as a doctoral degree candidate. In 1994 she was awarded the PhD Degree in Counseling. The findings of her doctoral dissertation on the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Statistical Manual were published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, and subsequently resulted in Marsha receiving the “Researcher of the Year” award from the American Mental Health Counselors Association at its 1998 annual convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, recognizing the quality of her research.

Marsha became licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health Professions, holding licenses to practice as a “Licensed Professional Counselor” and “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist”. In 1992, upon completion of a graduate assistantship at Virginia Tech, she entered into private practice in Bluefield, Va. later affiliating with Dr. Philip Robertson at the Psychiatric Associates of the Virginias. Over the years Marsha taught adjunct college courses at various institutions such as the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies and Bluefield College. In January 2009 she accepted a full-time faculty position at Bluefield College in the Department of Psychology. She considered the opportunity to teach and mentor students to be “the privilege of a lifetime”. Some of the upper division courses she taught at BC were of her own design. Her continued contact with Bluefield College graduates was augmented by on-line social media such as Facebook.

Marsha was active in professional organizations such as the Virginia Counselors Association and civic organizations, having served as the President of the Bluefield, Virginia Women's Club. Her practice as a private clinician always included pro bono work. Marsha and her husband worshiped at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Bluefield, Va. where they were married in 1981. During their children's younger years, she and Art attended the Virginia Avenue United Methodist Church in the West Graham section of Bluefield, Va. where they raised their three children.

Marsha was a devoted wife and a loving mother, grandmother and aunt ready to sacrifice for family members. In her selfless devotion, she encouraged her children to pursue all that would help them to lead a fulfilled life. She was the unifying factor in her family. The same steady guidance, sound advice, and sense of humor that made her an excellent counselor also made her a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. Her immediate and extended family consider themselves blessed to have had Marsha in their lives.    

Marsha is survived by her husband, Alfred C. (Art) Mead Jr. of Bluefield, Va.; her mother, Doris Groves of Rainelle, W.Va.; her father, George Adkins, and spouse Carla, of Rainelle, W.Va.; her daughter, Rachel Archer Collins, and spouse Chris, of Gallatin, Tenn.; her son, Matthew J. Archer, and spouse Meredith, of Chesapeake, Va.; her daughter, Laura Mead Aylor, and spouse Joshua, of Oak Ridge, N.C.; her brother, G. Edgar (Eddie) Adkins, and spouse Jeffrey Mendell, of Washington, D.C.; her brother, Mark A. Adkins, and spouse Marsha, of Fayetteville, W.Va. Marsha's five grandchildren include Rachel's daughter and son, Madeline and Logan Collins; Mathew's daughter and son, Madison and Hayden Archer; and Laura's son, Josiah Aylor. Marsha's mother-in-law is Muriel Mead of Bluefield, Va. Marsha's nieces and nephews are Eddie Adkins' daughter, Jeanie; Mark Adkins' son, Zachary; the daughter and son of Art's deceased brother Edward Mead, Laura Marie Spaulding of Parrish, Fla. and John Mead of Seminole, Fla.; and Laura Marie's daughter, Lily Ann-Marie. Marsha's step-siblings are Linda Bailey, of Elkins, W.Va. and Larry Gilkeson, of Mineral Wells, W.Va.

Marsha's Memorial Service will be held Friday, December 28, 2012, 2:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Logan St. and Tazewell Ave. in Bluefield, Va. The Reverend Russell Hatfield and the Reverend Robert Boozer will preside. Visitation (wake) will be at the Mercer Funeral Home and Crematory, 1231 West Cumberland Road, Bluefield, West Virginia, Thursday evening, December 27, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Marsha chose to be cremated and will be interred at the St. Mary's Episcopal Church columbarium in Bluefield, Virginia, immediately following the funeral.

Those wishing to make a financial gift in lieu of flowers are encouraged to direct such contribution to the Bluefield College Department of Psychology in Bluefield, Virginia.     

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting  

Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory of Bluefield is serving the family of Marsha Mead.

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