James Michael Mayer
1951 - 2020
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James Michael Mayer

West Des Moines - James Michael Mayer, 69, of West Des Moines, passed away suddenly Wednesday morning, October 14th, 2020 at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines.

He was born April 19th, 1951 in Des Moines, Iowa where he lived all his life. James, who went by Michael to most, graduated from Lincoln High School in 1969. He then went on to earn his degree in Law from the University of Iowa. Michael practiced law for many years in Iowa as a criminal defense attorney and then more recently, in immigration law.

Michael enjoyed many things in life like watching the Yankees play ball, exploring history, reading, and adding to his amazing stamp collection. Papa Mike never missed a dance recital, Little League baseball game or a family dinner. He had a special relationship with all six of his kids. His grandkids knew they could always catch a ride on the front of Papa's wheelchair whenever they wanted. Michael's children and grandchildren absolutely adored and loved him with all of their hearts.

Michael Mayer is remembered by his children Matthew Ver Huel, Sherri (Jason) Nielsen, Scott (Kathy) Ver Huel, Michal (Marcos) Bautista, Brooke Mayer, and Andrew (Elizabeth) Mayer; his grandchildren Jordan (Leslie) Blackburn, Alexandra and Ellen Strittmatter, Chloe and Toby Nielsen, Conner, Jackson and Ella Israel, Trevor, Parker and Lucas Mayer, and Mateo Bautista; his father Jack Mayer, his sister Connie (Eric) Hockett, and his brother John (Cathy) Mayer. He was preceded in death by his wife René Tilton, his mother Anna Mayer, and his daughter-in-law Vivian Ver Huel.

His family has asked for memorials to be sent to Easter Seals Camp Sunnyside, a place that Michael enjoyed as a child.

A private funeral service is set for 2:00 on Sunday, October 18th. The funeral service will be streamed on Facebook Live. Go to www.mclarensresthaven.com and click on James' obituary, then click "join livestream".

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Des Moines Register from Oct. 16 to Oct. 17, 2020.
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5 entries
October 18, 2020
Mike was always happy and so friendly in high school. May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
ALHS Class of 69
October 18, 2020
Mike was a friend and compatriot. I will miss him greatly. Always a smile and cheerful words. He was one of the good guys.

To Mike's family - you must be very proud of the life he led. RIP.
October 17, 2020
A truly great person in high school. Always a great smile and something kind to say.
Mike Stohlgren
October 17, 2020
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Christine Fisher
October 16, 2020
I had the pleasure of knowing Mike when I practiced law and later when I became a judge. Mike was always a strong advocate for his clients and I always enjoyed working a case with him because while he stood up for his clients he was honest and forthright.
Mike was so very proud of his children. Whenever I would see him he would update me on what was going on with them. He will be greatly missed and I feel blessed to have been able to know him and call him a friend. My sympathy to his family.
Carol Coppola
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