John Mayer
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Graveside Memorial Service

Spring 2021 Pingree Center Cemetery Parkman, Maine

Obituary of John WIlliam Mayer

Well done, good and faithful servant. John William Mayer, 90, died peacefully on December 23, 2020, at his home in Parkman, Maine, with his family by his side. John was born in Asbury Park, N.J. on January 9, 1930, to parents J. Kenneth and Marie (Hock) Mayer. The second of four boys, John was raised on the Jersey Shore, graduating from Asbury Park High School and Susquehanna University. He enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country honorably during the closing months of the Korean Conflict and the onset of the Cold War, primarily stationed on the DEW line in Adak, Alaska, where he worked for Naval Intelligence. John’s original career plan was to become a Presbyterian minister. However, upon his military discharge a series of events led him to find a different calling, ministering to youth as a professional in the Boy Scouts of America. Over the decades, he positively influenced the lives of countless young people as a tireless organizer, fundraiser and role model. For many years, John transplanted his family to the mountains each summer to work as a Camp Director. Perhaps his greatest impact in that capacity came in the late 1960s, when boys from places like inner-city Newark N.J., whose neighborhoods literally were ablaze, alit from buses to spend formative weeks in the wilderness with a crazy man in knee socks who loved them, believed in them, and expected nothing less than excellence from them. John also imparted to his children a love for nature and “God’s Country” that never diminished. John often said that the best day of his life was when he proposed and she said “yes.” John married Barbara Joan Overs on May 10, 1957, and he and his “Joanie” lived happily together as husband and wife for the next 61 years. They had two children, John “Keith” and Karen, many beloved dogs, a few cats, a couple parakeets, and one parrot that was never quite satisfied. Through the years they often had to relocate due to John’s work, but wherever they were together as family, they were home. In the early 1990’s John took an early retirement to move to Florida so he and Joanie could help care for her ailing parents. Eventually they returned to N.J. and, ultimately, moved to Maine, where their final residence was on a beautiful country hilltop where they could watch the deer and turkeys, goats and songbirds, from the comfort of their matching recliners. John was predeceased by his parents; his elder brother, Joseph; his son, John “Keith;” and his beloved, Joanie. He is survived by his brothers, Karl (Valerie) of San Francisco, and James (Judy) of LaJolla, CA; his daughter, Karen and her companion, Tom Sawyer, of Parkman, ME; his granddaughter, Brandy Leigh and her fiancé, Jonathan Weiss, of New Orleans, LA; daughter-in-law, Deborah Mayer of Norfork, AR; special sister-in-law, Constance Weitlauf of Logan, UT; many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his two best friends since elementary school, Dick Bonk and Cecil Lear. John was a modest man of great faith. Raised a member of the Presbyterian Church, where he was an ordained deacon, John ended his days as a member of Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church. The family is grateful for the caring warmth of this church family as John’s health declined, and especially thanks Rev. Steve Hastings for all the time spent visiting with John, whether talking, praying, or just watching westerns or listening to big band music together. The family also thanks Dr. Stephen Bien for his great care of John over these many years, as well as the visiting nurses of Community Health & Counseling Services, who cared for him to the end. A graveside service will be scheduled for the summer months, at the convenience of the family. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the good cause of your choice. Dad was a kind-hearted and generous man, and believed we make it in this world by looking out for each other. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.
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