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Samuel H. "Sam" MAYO

1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Samuel H. "Sam" MAYO Obituary
March 31, 1932 - October 22, 2016 Our wonderful Sam Mayo died of Frontotemporal Dementia at the age of 84. The disease was diagnosed nine years before his death and ultimately robbed him of intelligible language. This was a cruel fate because he loved and desired to connect with everyone he met. In the last two years of his life, he played the harmonica in a band called "The Fifth Dementia," formed by Music Mends Minds, Inc., for people with music abilities who are suffering from dementia, Parkinson's disease, and other neurological conditions. For two years Sam eagerly attended the twice-weekly rehearsals and delighted all with his irrepressible personality and great harmonica music, which he used to connect with people when his words failed. Sam was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents and lived in Hollywood. He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1950. As a young man he knew he wanted to be a teacher and his path was only briefly interrupted when he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War in which he served from 1954-1956. After the war, he continued his education and upon completion, he began his first teaching assignment as a history teacher at Van Nuys High School. He remained there for five years before accepting a professorship at Los Angeles Valley College where he taught and served as a college administrator for thirty years, retiring in 1996. After four years of retirement, he accepted the position of Director of the Academic Outreach Program at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. The program grew exponentially during the seven years of his leadership. Sam was loved by all who knew him whether it was for a day, a decade or a lifetime. He was the sunshine in the life of so many, especially his family. Sam is survived by his wife Leslee, son Robert Mayo and daughter Jennifer Mayo Flexer, their spouses Fabienne Michalon Mayo and Flinn Flexer, and five loving and adorable grandchildren, Maxence and Ariane Mayo, Ryan, Will and Sadie Flexer.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, 2016
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