James Lewis Mayer was born on March 25, 1925, to Fred W. and Lyda (Beasley) Mayer in Liberal, Kansas. When Lewis was three years old, his parents moved to a place they had purchased twelve miles south of Hooker. This was just a mile from Lyda’s parents, Jim and Anna Beasley. Jim Beasley had started ranching in 1883, and Lewis inherited a strong love for the land and for ranching. Lewis was an outstanding 4-H member and won state for his livestock record. As a teenager, he broke and trained horses. He was a talented and skilled horseman. Lewis drove the school bus his sophomore, junior and senior years and graduated from Hardesty High School in 1944. He enrolled in college at OPSU in 1945, but was drafted into the army after three months. He was boarding the ship to go oversees when he broke out with measles. He said it was the only time in his life he was glad to be sick.
Lewis married Anna Frances Witt on November 21, 1948, and they established their home on the Mayer Ranch. Lewis and Anna had three children, Joe Larry, Anna Jane, and James Kim. Lewis instilled a love of the land and ranching in his children and grandchildren, who are in the ranching business to this day. He loved working with his cattle and was especially proud of the “Beef Empire Days Grand Champion” award he won in 2010. He was a cow man until the day he died.
He worked hard, enjoyed life, and was a good neighbor. He never met a stranger. Lewis was a fighter and never backed down if he felt that something was not right, especially if it involved the government.
Lewis served on the board of directors of Farm Bureau for forty years. He served on the Texas County Fair Board and also served on the Oklahoma ASC committee. Lewis and Anna loved to travel but were always anxious to get back to their home on the prairie.
Lewis passed from this life on April 14, 2012, at the age of 87. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Lyda Mayer, and a cousin, Prentis Beasley, whom Lewis considered to be his brother.
He leaves to mourn his passing his loving wife of 63 years, Anna; his children: Joe and Mary Anne Mayer, Jane and Roger Skelton, and Jim and Dallas Mayer; nine grandchildren: Laurits and Katherine Christensen, Chad and Margery Rice, Paul Mayer and Kristy Parrish, John and Tori Skelton, Jess and Megan Skelton, Jason and Jana Schreiner, Jerod and Julie McDaniel, James and Lindsay Skelton, and Tyler and Naomi Mayer. Lewis was blessed with 25 great grandchildren: Anna, Rachel and Sarah Christensen; Eric and Gunnar Rice; Seth Mayer; Mackienzie and Daniel Barr; Ethan and Abby Skelton; Jake, Owen and Everly Skelton; Vance, Ben, Jack and Ellie Schreiner; Alex Breeden; Jaci, Luke, Aven and Sienna McDaniel; Tate and Lily Skelton and Jax Mayer. Other survivors include three sisters-in-law: Arthena, Nelda and Earlene Witt and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Lewis was blessed with a large loving family and many friends who will greatly miss him.
Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday morning, April 18th at 11:00 a.m. at the Guymon Church of Christ. Interment will follow in the Elmhurst Cemetery. Services are under the care of the Bunch – Roberts Funeral Home of Guymon.
The Mayer family suggests that memorials be made to the Northridge Christian School or to a charity of choice. Memorials will be accepted at the Bunch – Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1112, Guymon, Oklahoma 73942. Friends can sign the online guestbook and leave condolences at www.bunchroberts.com.