Bill F. Mayer of Lawrence died April 3, 2014 at the age of 88. Bill was born April 11, 1925 in Kansas City, Kansas, attending schools there and graduating from Wyandotte High School in 1943. He served in the Army Air Corps in WWII as a 20 year-old-navigator on B-24 bombers in the European Theater of Operations. He later graduated from Kansas University in the spring of 1949 with a B.S. in journalism.
After one year as managing editor of DePere, Wis., Journal-Democrat he returned to Lawrence in June of 1950 as a reporter for the Journal-World. During his time at the Journal-World he was a reporter, sports editor, news editor, managing editor and executive editor, and had regularly written a sports column since the fall of 1950 along with writing a majority of newspaper’s editorials after becoming managing editor in 1956 until semi-retirement in August of 1987. In his 60 years with the Journal-World news staff he had written thousands of sports columns and editorials.
He began semi-retirement from the post of Journal-World executive editor on August 23, 1987, but continued to write for the paper as a contributing editor with editorials, sports columns and feature articles, along with occasional desk and consulting work. Though fully retired in April of 2010 he kept himself available for spot assignments involving sports, general news, features and consultation.
He held numerous professional positions, including the chairmanship of the Kansas Associated Press Wire Editors and various committees of the Associated Press Managing Editors. He served locally in various organizations including as a member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, United Fund Board of Directors, and on the Church Council of Plymouth Congregational Church of which he had been a member since 1954.
On August 27, 1948 in Kansas City, Kansas he married Beverly Braeckeveldt, also a graduate of the 1943 Wyandotte High School class. She survives of the home in Lawrence. Other survivors include a daughter, Valerie Pernice, and husband Phil, Winter Springs, FL; a son, Lyndon Mayer, Indianapolis, IN; and five grandchildren, Alexandra Pernice, Anthony Pernice, Sacha Mayer, Ava Mayer and Emma Mayer. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and a loyal friend to many.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St. in Lawrence, Kansas. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in his name to Plymouth Congregational Church or Charity of Donor’s Choice.