H. Mead Cavert | CaringBridge

H. Mead Cavert

First post: 10/7/2016 Latest post: 1/7/2017
Welcome to the CaringBridge website for (Henry) Mead Cavert,  who passed away early on Friday, November 4. For the most recent posts describing his last few days, and gran-daughter Liz's visit with June on the first day afterwards, see the "Journal" entries below.


Mead was in hospice care as of October 5. We (that is, Mead's children, grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law; Mead and June are self-desribed  "sticks in the mud" who do not use the internet) are using this site to keep family and friends updated on his condition. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement, and we are showing or reading everything on this site to Mead and June. Thank you for visiting.

Mead is currently receiving palliative care at home in St. Paul. He was admitted to the University of Minnesota Medical Center on September 26 for treatment of pneumonia, a blood infection and dangerously low blood pressure, which damaged his kidney function. He returned home on October 5. We thank Fairview Home Care and Hospice for providing essential help with the challenges of this stage of life.

For our visitors here who may only know Mead and June from one facet of life, please allow us to share a bit about the many facets of their very long and full lives...

Henry Mead Cavert was born in St. Paul, MN, on March 30, 1922. He attended the University of Minnesota, earning a B.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry (1942), an M.D. (1951), and a Ph.D. in Physiology (1952). He served in World War II in the Meteorological Service of the U.S. Army Air Corps (1943-1946), attaining the rank of Captain. He married June Sederstrom of Litchfield, MN, on January 27, 1946. They celebrated their 70th anniversary this past winter. Both Mead and June came from families with farm backgrounds (Mead's family lived on a farm in Anoka for a time), so they both enjoyed fresh air, good soil, and healthy plants. They had three sons: John, Harlan, and Winston. The family lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1961-62 while Mead was a visiting faculty member -- a unique horizon-expanding experience for their young children that is very fondly remembered by all.

Dr. Cavert enjoyed a long career with the University of Minnesota Medical School. He was an Assistant Professor (1953-59), Associate Professor (1959-68) and Professor (1968-1992) in the Department of Physiology. He was also Assistant Dean of Medical Student Affairs (1957-64),  Associate Dean of Medical Student Affairs (1965-68), Associate Dean and Executive Officer of the Medical School (1968-72) and Associate Dean of Academic Administration of the Medical School (1972-92). Mead retired in 1992, and there was a big, fancy party, which allowed his nine-year-old granddaughter Liz to understand that he was an important, impressive person who was widely respected, admired and liked; previously she mostly thought his importance was in taking the dog on bike rides and in making pancakes on Saturday mornings.

Mead and June have long been active in many charitable and community activities, especially their church. They have been serious supporters, financially and personally, to immigrants, the homeless and the hungry, as well as enthusiasts for the arts and environmental issues. Mead has hosted the family at numerous Shakespeare performances, and as June says, "We're just nuts about the environment." Mead could be found canoeing and cooking over open fires in the Boundary Waters Wilderness with his children and grandchildren until about the age of 80, and he has continued to enjoy spending time along Minnesota's lakes since then. He loves singing around a campfire, at church, or basically anywhere it will be tolerated. He probably could not identify a single top-40 hit by any pop singer between Elvis Presley and today, but he knows by heart an endless repertoire of hymns, camp and campfire songs, as well as the fight songs of a stunning number of universities.

This short biography was written by Mead's granddaughter Liz, who has provided the links to further details below, and also by her brother Will.
 In a book about Mead's sister, Elizabeth Cavert Miller, a prominent scientist, see page 101 for a photo of little Mead! http://tinyurl.com/j2649h2
In a UMN Oral History interview, see page 4 for an immediate example of Mead's attention to detail ("Number 106")! http://editions.lib.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2012/03/MCavert.pdf

If Mead sees this, he will likely spot some grammatical errors overlooked by everyone else.



Mead and June have always been extremely generous, with love, time, energy, money, and attention, to a wide variety of causes, groups, and individuals. If anyone would like to honor that generosity through a charitable gift, one institution that has always been close to their heart and central to their lives is the University of Minnesota Medical School. Donations to the Dr. H. Mead and June S. Cavert Scholarship Fund can be made: online at https://give.umn.edu/giveto/CavertScholarship or (https://give.umn.edu/giveto/CavertScholarship or) by writing a check to the University of Minnesota  Foundation (fund #13778 in the memo), mailed to U of MN Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis MN, 55486-0266 .

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