Michael Mayer
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Michael Mayer

PAWLING - Michael Mayer, 73, a homegrown Pawlingite, submitted his final grades after kicking pancreatic cancer's ass for as long as humanly possible.

Mike is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judith Upton Mayer, daughters Kathy (Brad Eggleston, Newtown CT), Jennifer (Elkton MD), Deborah (Herb Burns, Wallkill, NY), and Sandra (John Baresich, Waxhaw, NC).

He was an obnoxiously proud Grandpa Mike to ten granddaughters and one grandson to whom he bequeaths all sorts of inappropriate potty humor. He is also survived by siblings Susan Kane Roberts and Hale Mayer, beloved cousins Bud and Alice Aherns, scores of loved ones, and countless strangers he called friends.

Mike prided himself on never being sick or hospitalized, his only complaint a bad back from too many oil changes on all things Porsche and Corvette. Instead, he saved a collection of devastating diseases (diabetes, glaucoma, Parkinson's, pancreatic cancer) for the very end, yet his brain sharp and sense of humor alive and kicking for the entire medical profession to fully appreciate. Or not.

A strong advocate for public education, Mike helped hundreds of students financially, emotionally, and automotively, providing academic guidance and friendship that far surpassed his 30+ year mathematic tenure at Dutchess Community College.

A lifelong Pawling resident and vocal cheerleader, Mike loved nothing more than making the rounds through town and talking about things that matter, then setting out to do something about them.

He served Pawling as 2 term town board member, 2 term board of education member, a proud Democratic Town Committee member, and remained a vocal member of the community and will continue to watch over town meetings on the shoulders of those who serve - so fair warning.

A patient man with a generous laugh and foul mouth, Mike was a diehard advocate for the little guy, always taking the time to listen. He quietly assisted friends and strangers; whether with a tank of gas, a ride to town, a warm meal, big bear hug, quick loan, or a place to sleep.

Mike's legacy is in the hundreds of people he anonymously helped along their way, never looking for recognition, but instead, for those folks to go forth and do great things for others.

His proudest moments were not broadcast to others, but shared directly with his children and grandchildren: "I'm just so g-damn proud of you kids. Really, just so GD proud."

Not saying I love you enough is not one of his regrets.

A big man with a big appetite, big brain and even bigger heart, Mike did not let cancer eat away at his character or soul. Surrounded by family in the town he loved to call home, Mike Mayer is hopefully now pushing 90 mph in a Porsche 356, no cops in sight, wind in his beard, laughing that big loud laugh for all to hear, if we only take the time to listen.

Mike's final requests were that his body be donated to science research because "kids are smart: they'll learn from all my broken parts and be able to fix this for others." In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to The Pawling United Methodist Church, because of Mike's strong wish to "keep that money in Pawling."

Mike Mayer's final grades are officially in.

Friends are invited to celebrate a life well lived at Pawling United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 11:00 am.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Poughkeepsie Journal from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
March 14, 2014
sorry to hear of Michael's death. he was a year ahead of me at pawling high. his sister,susan, and my sister,anita, were classmates and best friends.
paul loffler
February 17, 2014
Bernie and Connie Brunese
February 17, 2014
So sorry to hear about Mike. We had some GREAT times together--------playing football,hanging out at `the Y`and of course our D.C. trip!!Mike let me use his Mom`s Vw to take my driver`s test and I passed.(Not sure if his Mom knew)Prayers go out to Judy and family
Bernie and Connie Brunese
February 16, 2014
They broke the mold when sent us Mike ... he was surely one of a kind ... it was my privilege and pleasure to have worked with him for 20 years in the math department at DCC ... the world is a little sadder place without Mike in it ...
February 16, 2014
Mike's obituary was honest, unpretentious, and absolutely wonderful --- the same way that I would describe Mike. Working with him was a genuine pleasure and an experience that I will never forget. He had such a great positive influence on so many people. He will be missed.
Marty Triola
February 16, 2014
Our thoughts are with you Judy and your family.Mike always brightened up my day in the office.
Lester and margie lutz
February 16, 2014
Mike was a wonderful person, a good uncle, a great brother-in-law, a dedicated teacher and he will be missed by who knew him.
Cynthia Mayer
February 15, 2014
Our heartfelt condolences, Kate, Brad and all extended family members. xo Amy and Mark
Amy Caraluzzi
February 14, 2014
Ooh, Mike. Where has time gone? I remember when the Woodinville School closed and you came to the "Big School" in 7th grade. I remember in high school, you use to drive a black VW and bragged you could run it all week on a dollar's worth of gasoline. We had one helleva time on our class trip to Washington, D.C. just before graduation in '57. When I retired from the State and began writing a series called, "I Remember When..." for the Pawling News Chronicle, often you'd give me facts when I covered the old Woodinville School. You'd always come to me with old photos and test my memory about sites and times. Sorely I shall miss you, Mike; and so shall the rest of the "old guard" of Pawling. R.I.P. my friend and may a better life come to you on the other side of the wall.

Henry Wallis Walters
Potsdam, NY (formerly of Pawling)
Henry Wallis Walters
February 14, 2014
God's speed, Mike. I will miss our annual meetings and excellent conversations.
Scott Beyer
February 14, 2014
I am really sorry to hear about Mike, I worked with him he was one of a kind. My condolences to his family
Linda Covino
February 14, 2014
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of our dear friend Mike. He lived a good life and fought the good fight against cancer. He left surrounded by those who loved him most and who he loved most. I don't think he would have wanted it any other way. With our Love, Karen & Jack Burke
John & Karen Burke
February 14, 2014
To the family, Mike and I grow up together. We rode our bikes all over Woodinville. We rode up dodge roge to wingdale for a hamburger and a CokeWe had a good time together. His parents we wounderhull people.Had a good thime in the pool at their home in Woodinville Love to you all at this time and always Neil Osborn
February 14, 2014
Was sadden to learn of Mike's passing. He was a former neighbor and classmate since our early school years and on to graduation from PHS. My sympathy to his family and Hale & Susan.

Shirley Robinson Taylor
Southport, NC
Shirley Taylor
February 14, 2014
"Our heartfelt condolences to Mike's entire family...he always took time for a chat with smiles & laughter. Our neighbor just "over the hill" since 1975...will miss you Mike!!"
William Boo
February 14, 2014
Mike was my math professor at DCC and we were both on boards of education at the same time -- he in Pawling, me in Poughkeepsie -- and got to see each other at meetings and events. While I have not seen him in a number of years, I will always remember him as a good-hearted man who constantly gave to others. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Tim Massie
February 14, 2014
Paul Upham
Paul Upham
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