Ed Mead, former president, co-publisher, editor, columnist at Erie Times-News, dead at 88

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Ed Mead, the former president, co-publisher, editor and columnist at the Erie Times-News, has died. He was 88.

Mead died Wednesday, Quinn Funeral Home said. No location or cause of death was released by the newspaper (http://bit.ly/1L1r1Nv ).

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Mead spent 63 years with the Erie newspaper, writing his "Odds and Ends" column from 1952 through late 2013, when the newspaper celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Mead was a football star at Erie's Cathedral Preparatory School and Princeton University and was sought after by the National Football League's Detroit Lions when his father called him and said, "'Forget football. The newspaper business is your future,'" Mead said in 2013.

Mead graduated from Princeton in 1949 and spent a year at the Trenton (New Jersey) Times before coming to work for the family-owned newspaper founded by his grandfather, John J. Mead Sr. He worked in every department before becoming a copy editor in 1952.

Mead covered national news stories, in addition to whatever local or administrative duties he had at the Times-News, including NASA space launches, funerals of national leaders, and sporting events including the World Series, Super Bowls and the Masters golf tournament. Mead was also a fixture at national political conventions from 1960 to 2004.

"Ed was more than my boss. He was my friend for more than half a century," said Ed Wellejus, the newspaper's former editorial page editor. "I retired, but Ed continued working, year after year, even though he was just a year younger than me."

Mead is survived by his wife, Maurita Costa Mead, three sons, Jamie, Edward and Daniel, and their children. Allene Steimer Mead, his former wife and mother of his sons, died in 1999.

Visitation will be Sunday at the Quinn Funeral Home in Erie, with a funeral Monday at Erie's St. Peter Cathedral.

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Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com