John R. Mayer passed away on March 4th, 2020 at Newport Hospital. He was the husband of Elaine N. Mayer whom he married in 1948 in Philadelphia, PA. John was the son of the late Harry A. Mayer and his wife Ottelia.
After graduating from Olney High School, John joined the Navy and was assigned to a transport ship bringing service personnel back from the Pacific War Zone. As soon as he had leave, he returned home to marry his school sweetheart before being reassigned to the USS Tarawa CV40, and thus began a Good Will Tour around the world – a tour that lasted over a year. John began many different tours in the United States and Europe during his twenty-eight years in the Navy; from Newfoundland to Puerto Rico, Washington to Alaska and Newport. As a Machinery Repairman, he spent many years on the Arcadia and Grand Canyon while in Newport where he eventually retired in 1967. During his years of service, he attended many schools on both coasts and became one of the youngest men to earn the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
Following his retirement, John attended Salve Regina College where he was one of the first people to teach sailing. During the winter, he taught Navigation and the basics of sailing and in the Spring, the students were able to apply their knowledge first hand; these experiences were made possible by the Newport Yachting Club who loaned the students their small boats so they could sail through Newport Harbor. On windy days, the students were invited on the Mayer’s boat to apply their knowledge to a much larger vessel. Many of John’s students loved sailing so much, they later bought boats of their own and continued the sport for their lifetimes. John’s boat, a beautiful thirty-two-foot Ketch made in Denmark, was a very safe vessel for the students to practice their skills on.
Following his time at Salve Regina, John attended Rhode Island College and New England Technical Institute where he studied drafting for several years. In his later years, John and his wife traveled by river boats on many of the major waterways in Europe. Their last cruise was a three-month tour of Scandinavia including the shipyard where their boat had been built. Once home again, John spent much time renovating their home and building a large display of model trains that filled an entire room. John had kept in touch with his Navy buddies and attended their annual conferences whenever possible.
There will be no funeral so please send a donation to Potter League or your favorite animal rescue league instead of flowers.
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