My mom, Dottie Ross, worked for George and Jo for 18 years. It was the most wonderful experience for her - she loved to decorate the front window and being able to read all the books she wanted to. I had the opportunity to work for them as well and it was terrific! Mom and I send our thoughts to the family.
I just ran across a link to Mr. Maeyama's obituary and am so sorry to have read about his death. What a fantastic man he was, who helped instill in me - and so many others - a lifelong love of reading and books. He was always ready to make a geat recommendation for any kid who was interested in reading; I always loved going to Maeyama's Book Store when I was little with my Mom and later with friends after I was old enough to drive. Mr. Maeyama meant a great deal to all the kids in early Park Forest (and Olympia Fields) and we truly respected him and loved his store. Please accept my most heartfelt condolences. He was a wonderful man and a great role model who had a big impact on my life.
I worked for George and Jo in the early 70's. I was fresh out of high school and it was a great way to enter the work force before going off to college. George and Jo were wonderful bosses to have. Fair and supportive of their employees. Two memories ( among many) stand out for me. The first was trying to convince George to stock Abbie Hoffman's book "Steal This Book" which George was less than thrilled to have on his shelves for obvious reasons because of the title. He did relent and stocked a few. I don't remember how many sold. The other memory was George's insistence that I vote in every election. The 18 year olds were given the vote around that time and as each election came around George would was ask if I had voted yet (and if not he would have given me time off to do so). He never asked how I voted but rather ifI had. I don't think I've missed an election since.
George and Jo made a huge positive impact on Park Forest and I was lucky to know and work with them.
My mother informed me a couple days ago of George's passing. Since then I've been looking through old photo albums of our trips to Tucson to visit George. Our first trip was in the winter of 2007. He had already moved onto Broadway Place. While waiting for him to come off the elevator there, I was trying to prepare Bart (and myself) for a possible slow moving elderly man. But George erased that silly image by leaping, bounding, exploding out of the elevator, and said "are you up for a hike?" We then proceeded to follow him up Sabino Canyon. We visited George two more times (in 2009 & 2011) and were hoping for yet another visit in the winter of 2014. He will be greatly missed. I hope a little dusting of his joy of life rubbed off on me.
In the 1970's I was looking for a way to help finance my children's college education. My son, Mark had worked in the stock room for the Maeyamas and as I was walking through the Park Forest Plaza I noticed that there was a "help wanted" sign in the Maeyama's store window. I paced back and forth 'til my courage grew and went into the store. When I gave George my name he asked "Are you Mark's mother?" When I answered yes, he hired my immediately! Our family spent each summer in Saugatuck, MI since my husband's employment took us to the Presbyterian Camp where I also worked. George graciously gave me each summer off and took me on again each fall. That was the beginning of a delightful and helpful connection to both George and Jo. It was a pleasure to count them as our friends. Bill and I send our sympathy to their family.
I had the pleasure of living across the street from the Maeyama's and Merry (as we called her then) was my first childhood friend. My mom bought me my first book at the store and as I got older, Maeyama's was always a stop on Saturday trips to the Plaza with my friends. I always felt very special going into the store because Mr. And Mrs. Maeyama always greeted me so warmly. It is a true pleasure to have known this family.
As one of the few left who have lived in Park Forest since its beginning days, I have thanked George Maeyama and Jo back then -- and since -- for the lift and the culture that their bookstore gave our village for so many years . . . and for the warmth and courtesy shown always to those who entered. It was a joy and a pleasure. After the Maeyamas moved to Tucson, I recall the good times spent with them and the Barthoffs on my many visits there.
To my family and me, George has always stood apart -- a wonderful man with a wonderful family that has always exemplified what is best in life.
He will be missed and remembered forever by so many.
I am sorry to hear of the passing of your Father. My mom would stop in and talk to Mr. Maeyama about certain books. We lived by your dads Mother. Every once in awhile when talking about Park Forest your dads bookstore would come up.Thank You Mr. Maeyama.
I grew up in Park Forest from 1954 until I left home in 1965. When I read the name Maeyama in this notice forwarded to me by an old high school friend, it brought back memories that I didn't know I had. I so remember that store in the Plaza. Please accept my sincerest condolences for your loss. Barbara Pepper
Lucky me to have known George and Jo in both Park Forest and Tucson. George did not end his contributions when he left Park Forest. Just ask anyone who worked with him in Tucson Botanical Gardens, Habitat for Humanity, in meal deliveries to shut-ins, and other places he gave of his talents, his time, and his good will. He was an inspiration to all and he will be missed by so many. To quote one friend, "A fine human being."
I bought my first book from George, when I was in elementary school. I've been a few paces since then. His bookstore brought the world to me and inspired a curiosity about the world.
I remember the Park Forest store with great fondness. I also went to school with Meredith. My deepest sympathies
I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Maeyama. He truly was a Park Forest Icon and it seems as if another piece of Park Forest is now closed forever, but the memories will always remain with me.
I lived in Park Forest from 1952-2002 and some of my earliest, and fondest memories are of his bookstore and talking to him there. He and his wife were both always so polite and friendly each time I stopped in.
I also went to school with his son, Bob, who graduated the year before me. My husband, Pete, also knew him.
"Every blade in the field-
Every leaf in the forest-
Lays down its life in its season,
As beautifully as it was taken up."
-Henry David Thoreau
Our sincere condolences on your loss. He will always remain, with much fondness, in our memories...
Susan (Schaller) and Peter Scimeca
We are so very sorry for your family's loss! George was a wonderful and endearing resident here at Broadway Proper. He will be missed by all! It was our honor to have cared for him. He was very much part of our family.
Our thoughts and prayers will be with your family during this difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist.
Laure, Ann, Robert, Chris, Amy, Sandy and the rest of the staff at Broadway Proper
Clearly from all the messages, the Maeyama family added so much to the Park Forest community. Thanks to the whole family, thanks to George also for his military service. RIP
Sorry for your loss, Bob. Your Dad was a class guy.
Maeyama's is a cherished childhood memory in Park Forest. It was a special welcoming place.
Bob you and your entire family our in our prayers, so sorry for your loss, a true childhood memory of going into your parents store..... god bless.
Bob and Tammy Smith (Orlando, Fl)
Our best to the family. Bob (George's son) is as fine a man as I have met. George's bookstore was a prime local hangout as I was growing up in Park Forest - In a good way. Local high schoolers would work at the store, either on a "permanent" basis or, like me, for a couple weeks in the summer doing cleanup and inventory. The family was always a local treasure in Park Forest; quite a legacy for Mr. Maeyama.
Sorry to hear about your loss. He sounds like a great man.You amd your family are in our prayers.
Chuck & Donna Montgomery
So sorry to hear of your loss, your family is in my prayers. "The Book Store" as I called it, was one of my favorite stores in Park Forest.
Many of my teen years were spent at the Park Forest Plaza with the bookstore as one of my stops. Thanks so much for being there for me and others. Rest in Peace.
I remember how much I loved going to Maeyama's book store. Many a time, when I was stumped for a book idea, did they help me find a story to lose myself in. I was crushed when they closed their doors. RIP George
I discovered science fiction at the Park Forest public library, right across the street from the Park Forest shopping center where Maeyama's was located. Once I'd exhausted the library's entire collection, I became a weekly regular at Maeyama's because I could count on them to always get in the latest science fiction paperbooks. I spent a lot of my hard-earned busboy money there! A great family, nice bookstore and friendly clerks. Thank you, George - without Maeyama's there would have been no place to feed my youthful appetite without riding the IC into Chicago to visit Kroch's and Brentano's!
Rest in peace, George Maeyama. You enriched the lives of many in our former town of Park Forest.
I have fond memories of spending what seemed like hours in the bookstore while my mother "previewed" books. A great place.
Rest in Peace Mr. Maeyama. I spent many Saturday afternoons in your store browsing books and cards. Thank you for your kindness and hospitality.
Sincere condolences go out to the Maeyama family. Fine people as I recall! RIP
The Maeyamas will be remembered fondly as the place where children and their parents would go in search of a good read. They were an important beacon in the community and will always be remembered fondly.
This was a great family and the store was truly a Park Forest institution. I remember spending hours upon hours there when I was growing up. My sympathies to the family...he lived an amazing life!
Mr. Maeyama, was one of the people who made Park Forest such a wonderful community to live in and raise your family....
George Maeyama brought magic to the Park Forest Plaza when he and his wife opened their bookstore. I'm sure he'll live on in many, many hearts for the great gift of reading instilled in generations of Park Forest residents. Condolences, and thanks, to his family.
I remember spending lots of time at the store while growing up in Park Forest. What a valuable contribution Mr. Maeyama made to this country and Park Forest.
George Maeyama was a pillar of the Park Forest community and loved by all! He was kind and smart and helpful to everyone who entered his store. My condolences to his daughter Merry, my friend, and the rest of his family.