Gordon Mayer, 90, of Plymouth, Minn., died Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Cornerstone Assisted Living of Plymouth, Minn.
Gordon James Mayer, son of Adolf and Bertha Lautt Mayer, was born near Harvey on Nov. 24, 1923. He lived on different farms in the Harvey area and attended country schools before graduating from Harvey High School in 1941. In 1942, his dad purchased a farm two miles north of Harvey. Later, when Gordon married the love of his life, Emma Kessler, of Anamoose, on Nov. 23, 1947, they moved onto the farmstead. Four children were soon born into the family. Farming with his dad and raising his children on the family farm were the joys of Gordon's life. He deeply missed the farm when he and Emma moved to the Minneapolis area for health reasons in 2011.
In addition to farming, Gordon started driving bus for the Harvey School District during the first year it ran rural bus routes in 1961. He chose the route picking up his own children and drove various routes for the next 30 years. After that, he continued as a substitute bus driver for 16 more years and finally retired from bus driving at 84 years of age. He was grateful that he had never had an accident during those 46 years and cherished all the friendships with his passengers and their parents.
Gordon was also very active at Bethel Baptist Church and served for more than 20 years as the Sunday school superintendent, 26 years as a deacon, and many years as a Sunday school teacher and choir director. He served on the church building committee when the new building was constructed. When the AWANA club program started, Gordon loved helping the next generation learn God's Word. Next to his farm, his strong attachment to his church family was one of the last things on his mind as he grew weaker and more frail.
At various times of his life, Gordon was on the local creamery board, the Genealogy Club, the Prairie Concert board and served on the township board as tax assessor for 28 years. He also served on the Wells County election board for 55 years. Gordon thoroughly enjoyed all his activities and his involvement in the life of his church and community. His hobbies included woodworking, bird watching and gardening. He also spent much time researching the Mayer family history dating back to 1659 in Stuttgart, Germany, by translating from the original German documents which he inherited from his Aunt Emilie Mayer. In his retirement years, he maintained strong ties with distant Mayer relatives in Idaho and California.
Sharing Gordon's life were: his wife of 66 years, Emma; and his children, Ron (Doris) Mayer, of Harvey, Diana (Doug) Wyman, of Bloomington, Minn., Lanette Mayer, of Maple Grove, Minn., and Wanda Salazar, of Centennial, Colo. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren: Rebecca (Jory) Randall, of Seattle, Lindsey Mayer, of Chicago, Shane Wyman, of Minneapolis, Tim Wyman, of Winston-Salem, N.C., Troy Wyman, of Bloomington, Alyson Barstad, of Maple Grove, Stephen Salazar, of Greeley, Colo.; and one great-granddaughter, Annika Randall, of Seattle. Many friends, cousins, nieces and nephews also mourn the passing of his life. He will be missed by his church, his community, the assisted living facility where he most recently lived, and by his wife and family.
The guiding light of his life was his love for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he accepted and followed in the waters of baptism in the summer of 1935. His life was one of service to the Lord and he looked forward to seeing his Savior. Gordon was the last of the original families who established Bethel Baptist Church in 1928.
Preceding him in death were: his parents, Adolf and Bertha, and son-in-law, Jim Salazar.
Funeral services will be: Friday, April 18, 10:30 a.m., at Bethel Baptist Church, Harvey.
Burial will be held: at the Sunnyside Cemetery, Harvey.
Visitation will be held: Thursday, April 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Hertz Funeral Home of Harvey.