Mayes, Oscar F.
passed away on Thursday, February 6, 2014, surrounded by his family. The family extends a warm- hearted thank you to the staff at St Joseph's Hospital and Dr. Thuraisamy.
Oscar was born in Elmira NY, August 1, 1926, the son of Oscar F Mayes, and Delila Mayes. He married Anna Marie Brand on August 22, 1947. He was predeceased by his parents, sister and brothers, James D. Mayes, a Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Robert Leslie Mayes, a Korean War Veteran, Manley Mayes, and Eva Marie Diebler. Oscar is survived by his lovely and devoted wife, Anna Marie and sons: James (Vivian) Mayes, (Florida), Daniel (Terry) Mayes (Hector, NY); daughters: Joanne (Thomas) Donnells, Margaret (Clifford) Thoma; grandchildren: Kasey (fiancé William Cudney) Hillard , Henry Leal III, James (Dana) Mayes, Christina (John) Ballard, and Mackenzie Thoma; great- great grandchildren: Derek Ballard, Gregory Ballard, Jena Mayes, Timothy Mayes, Gracie Mayes, Lyric Hillard; sister-in-law: Agnes Jane Gormley, and several nieces and nephews.
A self-made business man, Oscar started working at age 12 in the fields of Bradley Farms where he learned to work hard no matter the weather or the difficulty of the job and this first job helped his family keep food on their table. Oscar was a man of great strength and fortitude. While working full time, he built four homes and remodeled three. He spent every weekend and holidays working on the homes, with the end goal to be mortgage free. His hard work and determination paid off and in 1972, Oscar and his childhood friend, Robert K. Watkins, purchased Horwitz Paper and Packaging. Every day, Oscar would go into work and greet every employee with a smile and a hello. The business thrived under their ownership and their friendship always prevailed.
He was an avid reader and a camera enthusiast. In 1950, he won first place in a black and white stills contest sponsored by Gannett Newspaper. He had been a member of the Knights of Columbus, Third Degree, joining at the age of 21. Model airplanes and horses were his passion. In 1964, Oscar designed the Uranus Gas Free Model Airplane, which tied for 1st place at the Nationals in Chicago and was the winner of 14 awards in one year. The airfoil that Oscar designed set a precedent for all airfoils used in this class today. In the 1980's, his hobby turned to horses. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Empire Appaloosa Horse Club in Syracuse NY. In 1985, his most favorite horse, Absarokee Charger, was named World Champion of Jr. Western Riding. Later his passion would turn toward Reining horses and his horse, Doll, was a World Champion Reining Horse. Oscar loved to travel with his wife across the country in their motorhome, experiencing our country's rich history and enjoying nature. Oscar renewed his love for model airplanes and started designing, building, and competing. He was a member of the HHLD Flying Club of Big Flats, NY and the Academy of Model Aeronautics. In the mornings, he loved going to Sugar and Spice to have coffee and to talk shop with his airplane buddies. Oscar never forgot his roots and was a very charitable person, always helping out those less fortunate than himself. Oscar was a communicant of St. Casimir's Church.
Friends are invited to McInerny Funeral Home, 502 W. Water Street, Elmira, on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Oscar's Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Casimir's Church, Elmira. Interment, with committal prayers, will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Oscar's name to Habitat for Humanity of Chemung County, P O Box 3110, Elmira NY 14905 or the
, 17 Technology Place, E. Syracuse NY 13057.
McInerny Funeral Home
502 W. Water St. Elmira, NY 14901
Published in Star-Gazette from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, 2014