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Joe Larry Mayer, 68, longtime Guymon resident, died May 27, 2018, in Amarillo, Texas. Joe was born in Guymon, Oklahoma, on November 19, 1949, the first child of James Lewis and Anna Frances (Witt) Mayer. He grew up outside of Hardesty, Oklahoma on the cattle ranch his great-grandfather established in 1883. He was a loving and devoted brother to his younger sister, Anna Jane (Mayer) Skelton, and his brother, James Kim Mayer, who share many wonderful memories of their days playing down on the river. Joe was an active 4-H member, holding state and district level offices and serving as a delegate on trips to Europe and Canada. He graduated from Hardesty High School in 1968 and from Oklahoma Panhandle State University in 1972.
Joe was united in marriage to Mary Anne Atkins on July 10, 1971, in Guymon, Oklahoma. They had three children, Katherine Christine, Margery Angela, and Joe Paul, who they raised on the Anchor D Ranch west of Guymon. He was a devoted and proud father and loved traveling the livestock show circuit with his children.
Joe was a proud fifth-generation farmer and rancher. He was a fierce steward and caretaker of the land. During his lifetime, Joe grew a world class ranching operation, spanning two states and approximately 36,000 acres. He truly loved cattle and worked to ensure that his cattle “never had a bad day in their lives.” He often said that “there was nothing better than looking at a good pen of cattle.” He received many awards recognizing his innovative approaches and dedication to excellence in agriculture. In 2013, he received the Certified Angus Beef Commitment to Excellence Award. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame for Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture in 2015.
Joe was a man of strong convictions. He truly believed in an individual’s ability to make the world a better place. He dedicated years of his life to government service and advocacy and worked tirelessly to “get the government off our backs and out of our pocketbooks.”
Joe was a director of City National Bank and Trust, later Docking Bancshares, from 1978 until the time of his death. He served on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the Oklahoma ASCS Committee, the Texas County Excise Board, the Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board, and many others. Joe was an Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education for nine years. He served on the USDA Farm Service Association Committee under Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. He was proud to work on Governor Frank Keating’s transition team and as his appointments advisor. He was recently appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to the State Board of Agriculture.
Joe was a gun enthusiast and master sharpshooter. He was a proud Republican who loved nothing more than a good debate. Joe was a voracious reader, a devotee of cattle genetics, and a world traveler. He was an incredibly devoted family man who took seriously the job of caring for his family and advancing the legacy of his forefathers.
His father, James Lewis Mayer, preceded him in death.
Joe is survived by his mother, Anna Frances (Witt) Mayer; his wife of 46 years, Mary Anne (Atkins) Mayer; his children, Katherine Mayer Christensen and husband Laurits of Evergreen, CO, Margery Angela Rice and husband Chad of Guymon, OK, and Joe Paul Mayer and wife Paige of Guymon, OK; his grandchildren, Anna, Rachel, and Sarah Christensen, Eric and Gunnar Rice, Shadi Nettles, Seth Mayer, and Paislee Boles. He is also survived by his siblings, Anna Jane (Mayer) Skelton and husband Roger of Texhoma, OK, and James Kim Mayer and wife Dallas of Hooker; his brother-in-law John Atkins of Amarillo, TX; and seven nieces and nephews.
Joe’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m. with a memorial service at the Guymon Church of the Nazarene, 2214 North Sunset, with Pastor Craig Sheppard officiating. Interment will be in Elmhurst Cemetery, Guymon.
Visitation will be at Henson-Novak Funeral Home, 501 NW Fifth Street, Guymon, OK, Friday, June 1, noon to 7 p.m. with the family being present from 5-7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in memory of Joe Mayer to the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, online giving at www.oklahoma4hfoundation.com, or to your local volunteer fire department, care of Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, P.O. Box 1306, Guymon, OK, 73942.
Friends may sign the online guest book and send condolences at www.hensonnovak.com.