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James M. Mayor


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
James M. Mayor Obituary
James M. Mayor

November 6, 1932 - June 28, 2017

James M. Mayor, a former resident and mayor of Freehold Township passed away on June 28, 2017. He was eighty-four years old. James, known as Jim by friends and family, will be remembered for his humor, the ease in which he brought people together and, above all, his unwavering devotion to his country, community, family and friends.

Jim Mayor's dream of making a difference in people's lives began to take hold in 1951 when he attended the University of Houston and received his Bachelor of Science degree in government after just three years of study. In 1954, he studied political science at the University of Houston Graduate School. In both 1952 and 1954, Jim was named "Most Outstanding Student" and elected President of the Student Council.

Forever the patriot, Jim faithfully served in the United States military from 1954 to 1956. For the last eighteen months of his active duty, he was appointed 1st Lieutenant, Aide-de-Camp to Brig. General T.J. Sands, III Corps Artillery. Upon completion of his service, Jim became active in local politics in Houston and was elected Harris County Republican Chairman. He served that position from 1965 to 1967.

Simultaneously, Jim began what would become an impressive thirty-year career in publishing, working for The Hearst Corporation, serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing and earning numerous awards.

His career ultimately led him from Texas to New Jersey, but his dedication and passion for local government remained. He won a seat on the Freehold Township Committee City Council in 1970 for seven consecutive three-year terms. During these years, Jim was also Mayor of Freehold in 1975, 1978 and 1987. He also held numerous other positions, including Deputy Mayor, a member of the Planning Board, Board of Health, Industrial Committee and Transportation Board.

Anxious to return to his childhood home, Jim retired to San Antonio in 1996. Still, community service remained his passion, and he quickly became active within the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), ultimately being appointed as its Chairman.

Above all, Jim Mayor was the devoted husband of since-deceased Helen Elizabeth Jones, whom he was married to for fifty-seven happy years. Together, they raised and are survived by two children - Melissa Ann Gelfand and Michael Allan Mayor. Two brothers - Thomas Mayor and Richard Mayor, also survive him. He was also blessed with nine grandchildren - James Gelfand, Tegan Gelfand, Ryan Gelfand, Alexander Gelfand, Elyse Gelfand, Christopher Gelfand, Emma Mayor, Cassandra Gelfand and Victoria Gelfand.

Jim's lifetime accomplishments were many. If he were here, he probably would be grinning and mischievously asking to add, "astronaut" to his long list of occupations and career success. So to honor Jim's memory, we will remember him as a husband, father, grandfather, friend, veteran, a public servant and astronaut.

Throughout his eighty-four years, Jim Mayor had an innate ability to bring people together to drive positive change. Loved by many and respected by all, he made the world a better place and will be sorely missed.

Jim and Helen will be laid to rest together at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. A reception to honor his life will take place at the Petroleum Club in San Antonio on Friday, July 14th from 12:30-2:30 pm.
Published in Asbury Park Press on July 9, 2017
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