Mary Jane Mayes

Obituaries in Brownwood, TX | Brownwood Bulletin
Obituaries in Brownwood, TX | Brownwood Bulletin

Mary Jane Mayes

Austin - Mary Jane King was born on January 5, 1925 in Brownwood, Texas to Mamie B. Cathey King and William D. King. She passed away on March 28, 2022 in Austin, Texas. While attending second grade at Coggin Ward School in Brownwood, Mary Jane met the man who would become her husband for over 75 years, Wendell Wise Mayes, Jr.

Mary Jane graduated from Brownwood High School in 1943 and attended Texas State College for Women, now Texas Woman's University. Wendell returned from serving in World War II to marry Mary Jane in 1946. From that day to her final days she claimed their marriage was the envy of all her friends. She considered herself the luckiest girl in the world. They lived in Brownwood, Midland, and finally in Austin. Mary Jane was Wendell's most enthusiastic supporter in his career as a radio station and cable system owner and as a leader for diabetes causes.

Mary Jane was a powerhouse - a wonderful wife, an enthusiastic mother to her three children and a marvelous grandmother. Her greatest joy was entertaining family and friends. Invitations to her Christmas open houses and KNOW radio staff parties were prized, especially when she served her Artillery Punch. She traveled all over the world with Wendell when he was President of the International Diabetes Federation. Mary Jane made friends easily. Those friends knew her as a fun-loving Texan with a true zest for adventure.

Mary Jane's life was permanently altered in 1992 after a trip to Antarctica when she became ill with encephalitis. She lost her short-term memory, but not her lovely smile and happy personality. For the next thirty years she was cared for by Wendell and her children, spending 23 years at home with over 100 caregivers, known affectionately as their "surrogate granddaughters." She lived her final seven years at Brookdale Westlake Hills. After her illness, Professor Harold Rifkin, a physician friend in New York, established a fund for "Mary Jane Mayes Scholars" with the International Diabetes Federation and the American Diabetes Association to honor Mary Jane. The goal was to reach people with diabetes in the "most fundamental, personal and caring way." The award is presented annually to diabetes researchers from around the world.

Mary Jane was an exceptional, fun-loving woman. She will be remembered for jumping on the trampoline with her grandchildren, earning her pilot's license in 1964, lovingly caring for her elderly parents and mother-in-law, playing "Go Fish" on the floor with the little ones, teaching members of Church of the Good Shepherd how to make her famous "Mary Jane Rolls," sponsoring the Ngo family from Viet Nam, being selected Senior Warden at her church, hang-gliding in Acapulco, mothering foreign exchange students Elena Llana del Arenal from Spain and Antonia Fonticielha from Brazil, sailing with Wendell on Lake Travis and being the proudest Texan of all.

The family appreciates the care Mary Jane received from the staff at Brookdale Westlake Hills and from her hospice angel, Ali. Special thanks to Mary Jane's friend, Candy Giordano, who made her hair beautiful every single week for over 45 years.

Mary Jane's husband, Wendell, died six months before she did, also at the age of 97.

She and Wendell leave a tremendous legacy for their family. She is survived by her children, Cathey Mayes, Sarah Mayes and Wendell Mayes III. Mary Jane adored her grandchildren, Christy Collum, Chris Rollins, Leanne Moore, Karen Hull, Emily Mayes, Wendell Mayes IV, Blake Mayes and Hannah Mayes. Her extraordinary great grandchildren are Robert, Jordan, Michael, Samantha, Aubrey, Will, Avery, Garrett, Lily, Allison, Henry, Oliver and Orion. Mary Jane's sister, Fannie Baker, and brother, Joe King, as well as beloved nieces and nephews, also survive her.

The family will have a private interment service. Memorials may be made to the Mayes Scholarships at Texas Woman's University and at Texas Tech University or to the American Diabetes Association. Remember Mary Jane when you see the beautiful fields of Texas bluebonnets.

Posted online on April 01, 2022

Published in Brownwood Bulletin

Obituaries in Brownwood, TX | Brownwood Bulletin
Obituaries in Brownwood, TX | Brownwood Bulletin

Mary Jane Mayes

Mary Jane Mayes

Austin - Mary Jane King was born on January 5, 1925 in Brownwood, Texas to Mamie B. Cathey King and William D. King. She passed away on March 28, 2022 in Austin, Texas. While attending second grade at Coggin Ward School in Brownwood, Mary Jane met the man who would become her husband for over 75 years, Wendell Wise Mayes, Jr.

Mary Jane graduated from Brownwood High School in 1943 and attended Texas State College for Women, now Texas Woman's University. Wendell returned from serving in World War II to marry Mary Jane in 1946. From that day to her final days she claimed their marriage was the envy of all her friends. She considered herself the luckiest girl in the world. They lived in Brownwood, Midland, and finally in Austin. Mary Jane was Wendell's most enthusiastic supporter in his career as a radio station and cable system owner and as a leader for diabetes causes.

Mary Jane was a powerhouse - a wonderful wife, an enthusiastic mother to her three children and a marvelous grandmother. Her greatest joy was entertaining family and friends. Invitations to her Christmas open houses and KNOW radio staff parties were prized, especially when she served her Artillery Punch. She traveled all over the world with Wendell when he was President of the International Diabetes Federation. Mary Jane made friends easily. Those friends knew her as a fun-loving Texan with a true zest for adventure.

Mary Jane's life was permanently altered in 1992 after a trip to Antarctica when she became ill with encephalitis. She lost her short-term memory, but not her lovely smile and happy personality. For the next thirty years she was cared for by Wendell and her children, spending 23 years at home with over 100 caregivers, known affectionately as their "surrogate granddaughters." She lived her final seven years at Brookdale Westlake Hills. After her illness, Professor Harold Rifkin, a physician friend in New York, established a fund for "Mary Jane Mayes Scholars" with the International Diabetes Federation and the American Diabetes Association to honor Mary Jane. The goal was to reach people with diabetes in the "most fundamental, personal and caring way." The award is presented annually to diabetes researchers from around the world.

Mary Jane was an exceptional, fun-loving woman. She will be remembered for jumping on the trampoline with her grandchildren, earning her pilot's license in 1964, lovingly caring for her elderly parents and mother-in-law, playing "Go Fish" on the floor with the little ones, teaching members of Church of the Good Shepherd how to make her famous "Mary Jane Rolls," sponsoring the Ngo family from Viet Nam, being selected Senior Warden at her church, hang-gliding in Acapulco, mothering foreign exchange students Elena Llana del Arenal from Spain and Antonia Fonticielha from Brazil, sailing with Wendell on Lake Travis and being the proudest Texan of all.

The family appreciates the care Mary Jane received from the staff at Brookdale Westlake Hills and from her hospice angel, Ali. Special thanks to Mary Jane's friend, Candy Giordano, who made her hair beautiful every single week for over 45 years.

Mary Jane's husband, Wendell, died six months before she did, also at the age of 97.

She and Wendell leave a tremendous legacy for their family. She is survived by her children, Cathey Mayes, Sarah Mayes and Wendell Mayes III. Mary Jane adored her grandchildren, Christy Collum, Chris Rollins, Leanne Moore, Karen Hull, Emily Mayes, Wendell Mayes IV, Blake Mayes and Hannah Mayes. Her extraordinary great grandchildren are Robert, Jordan, Michael, Samantha, Aubrey, Will, Avery, Garrett, Lily, Allison, Henry, Oliver and Orion. Mary Jane's sister, Fannie Baker, and brother, Joe King, as well as beloved nieces and nephews, also survive her.

The family will have a private interment service. Memorials may be made to the Mayes Scholarships at Texas Woman's University and at Texas Tech University or to the American Diabetes Association. Remember Mary Jane when you see the beautiful fields of Texas bluebonnets.

Posted online on April 01, 2022

Published in Brownwood Bulletin