EDWARD BURNETT MAYO died on Wednesday afternoon, the 15th day of June, 2005, at the age of 86, at his home in Houston. Mr. Mayo was born in the same house, on July 13, 1918, to Henry M. Mayo and Louise Sweeney Mayo. He attended both Holy Rosary and St. Anne Catholic schools, and was graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1936. He entered The Rice Institute in the fall of that same year, and was graduated in 1942 with a degree in Architecture. Mr. Mayo joined the U.S. Army in the summer of 1942 and became an Airman and 2nd Lieutenant in the 32nd Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron during World War II. His squadron sailed for Europe on two ships, the Fitzhugh Lee and the Paul Hamilton. Most of the squadron was lost when the Paul Hamilton was sunk by German aerial attack in the Mediterranean on April 20, 1944. Mr. Mayo and the remaining squadron continued on the Fitzhugh Lee to Italy, where he served until returning home in the summer of 1945. Mr. Mayo worked as an architect in Houston for most of the years prior to January, 1961, when he was hired by James Chillman, Jr., Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to serve as Registrar of the Museum. As such, he developed and maintained the extensive archival system used in tracking the location and condition of all works of art in the Museum and coordinated the movement and handling of Museum works loaned to other museums in the United States and abroad. Mr. Mayo's deep interest in the arts led him to support numerous local artists, galleries and art institutions over a fifty year period. Beloved in the arts community and by his large circle of friends, he was a walking repository of detailed information about the cultural and arts history of the City over a large part of the last century. He retired from the Museum in 1986, but continued to be active in the arts community. Mr. Mayo is survived by his long time partner, Bill Lassiter, the descendants of his deceased brothers, Gordon Mayo, and Harry Mayo, Jr. and of his mother's brothers and sisters, who included Katherine Sweeney Williams and by many treasured friends. Thanks is given to Susan Willis for her tireless assistance and support to Mr. Mayo over the last four years. A rosary will be recited at Holy Rosary Church, 3601 Milam St., Houston, on Saturday morning, June 18, 2005 at fourty-five minutes past nine o'clock, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at ten o'clock with the Rev. Joseph D. Konkel. O.P., officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale, Houston, Texas. A reception in Mr. Mayo's honor will be held that afternoon from four until six o'clock at the Bradshaw-Carter Home, 1734 West Alabama Street, Houston, Texas. Friends are cordially invited to all services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society Houston, 14700 Almeda Road, Houston, Texas 77053, or the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005. Online tributes may be posted at www.bradshawcarter.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Jun. 17, 2005.