Obituary for Gary Mayhew

Nov 3, 2021 | 0 comments

Gary Mayhew

Gary Richard Mayhew, a man of math and music.

Gary Mayhew would rather not make a fuss over his death on October 26, 2021. He died at home on hospice for end-stage COPD at the age of 76. Born in California to Bill and Dorothy Mayhew, he inherited his dad’s dry sense of humor and his mother’s kindness.

The family moved to East Palistine, Ohio, then settled in Albuquerque, where Gary lived the rest of his life. Gary graduated from the University of New Mexico, where he studied mathematics and teaching. He took time out to serve in AmeriCorps VISTA and avoid going to Vietnam.

He taught math for many years at Sandia High School, delighting his students with guitar playing in class. He became an itinerant teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools, traveling to the district’s high schools to teach mathematics to gifted students. He judged the annual Math Counts competition and took the tests to ensure the problems were correct.

Music was a large part of Gary’s life. A talented guitarist who completed Larry McGinnis’ Folk Guitar Workshop in 1975, he also taught guitar lessons. He played English Country dance and Contra dance music with Boxwood Consort and Mad Robin, and a wide range of songs with the Wednesday Night Pickin’, Grinnin’, Drinkin’ and Lyin’ Society. His gifted playing and humor brought joy to all who knew him.

He loved intellectual pursuits, including reading science fiction and horror, playing board/strategy games with “the boys,” and enjoyed dining out, good food and fine wine. He himself did not cook. He avoided goat cheese, mushrooms, onions, and cilantro.

He had no wife or children, which was fine with him. But many friends sorely miss Gary. He is survived by his sisters in California, Debbe Noto (spouse Chuck Pendell) and Patti Winkler (spouse Donald Winkler), and nephew and nieces Joshua, Sadie and Madison Winkler.

An outdoor memorial service will be held on Friday, November 5 at 5:00 p.m. in Altura Park, at Hannett and Aspen Avenues NE. Please bring a chair to sit upon, a photo or story to share, and an instrument if you play! We will serve the “Gary’s Not Here” snack: mushroom caps stuffed with goat cheese and topped with scallions.

A Good Goodbye