The problem with most obituaries is that they list the activities and accomplishments of lives, rather than celebrating the people who actually lived them. However, those of us who enjoyed the privilage of working with the late Walter Mayfield will remember him, not as those lists, but rather, as the embodiment of the term "southern gentleman." Walter shared a copy desk with editors who often lived up to, and seemed to enjoy, their hard-boiled, hard-bitten cinema stereotypes. But in their midst Walter stood tall -- figuratively and literally -- as a soft-spoken, kind and gentle man who taught almost as often in the newsroom as he did in the classrooms of area colleges.
Upon seeing the cliche, "he will be missed," Walters colleagues would have yelled, "BO-gen," whereas Walter would have said, "Michael, come here, please." Mr. Mayfield, I'll be right there, but yes, you will be missed.