Melvin Loyd Mayer was born to Norm and Lillian Mayer on May 7, 1942, in Chehalis, WA. He was the firstborn, outliving his parents, brother Merle, and sister Melody. Raised in Tacoma, WA the babysitter in the neighborhood invited him, his brother, and sister to go to Sunday School at the First Assembly of God on “G” Street. It was here at the age of 12 he found salvation through the cross of Christ and His shed blood for the forgiveness of his sins at an early age. Mel’s love for Jesus must be understood, crystal clear, to fully know the life of Mel Mayer, for it is by the mercy and grace of God that Mel continued to confirm his confession of faith in Jesus by doing the word of the Lord, found in the Bible.
He graduated from King’s Garden High School in Seattle, WA, in 1960 where his faith had grown and strengthened. He later attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA, where he met his future wife Neva, the woman that completed him. For Dad did love her as “Christ loved the church,” and the rest, they say, is history. Dad met Mom in Child Psychology Class 201 on April 3rd, 1963. He still remembered the yellow dress Neva wore that day but did need help from her sitting by him again on the second day of class. She continued to be his helpmate when they were married on July 17, 1965. For over 58 years, by prayer and doing, she accomplished everything, helping Mel be a blessing to everyone he met.
He served his country in the Army Reserves from 1966-71, honorably discharged as Staff Sergeant USAR (RE-1). Everywhere he was, he consistently made a difference touching the lives of so many people, including family, church, Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, Awana Club, nursing home and prison ministries, work, and others. He took the whole family on numerous vacations (planning and paying for almost everything). These include a trip to England, all over the western USA, and the “Big Vacation of 2000” spanning across the USA through 17 states. He received the Distinguished Staff Award from Stadium High School Navy Junior ROTC May 30, 2001. He retired from the Tacoma School District as a Chief Custodian after 37 years on June 30, 2004. His personal journal entry for 7/1/04 says, “Thank you, Lord, for sustaining me and getting me there.” He then sold his house in north Tacoma and moved to Yelm, WA, on 10/21/08. His journal entry for that day says, “Praise God, we spent our first night out in our new Yelm home. Thank you, Lord!” He enjoyed volunteering at Prairie Elementary School in the art class, helping children, and on 4/25/13, he was awarded the Volunteer of the Year for the school district.
A couple of his favorite sayings were, “When it’s gone, it's gone!” I think he coined this one after paying for all the first-class vacations for the whole family. And after opening a present, he would say, “I never knew they made such a thing!” We all still like to smile and say this when we too open a present.
Family and church gatherings and meals together were his favorite times. His favorite meal was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and chocolate cake. He loved to sing, especially praise to God in the church choir. He sang in the choir and Singing Christmas Tree at Life Center church for many years. He loved singing so much it makes me wonder if someday, those who arrive in heaven will see him singing songs with God’s choir, like “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Because He Lives,” which were his favorites. He sang “Because He Lives” up unto the end from his bed, as well as saying again and again, “I love you, I love you very much, thank you!”If you were to read over his last journal from start to finish, covering over 21 years, you would find two expressions again and again. Almost every entry starts with “Praise God” or “Thank you, Lord.”
Mel is survived by his wife Neva, son David and his wife Jane, daughter Ruth, grandchildren Kristina, Katie, and Martha, as well as numerous other family members. Each of which would say that Mel was ALWAYS THERE! Whether it was God, family, church, country, friends, or others…HE WAS ALWAYS THERE!!! You could count on him. Mel is an immovable unshakable pillar TO ALL founded on the love of Jesus Christ. He is a symbol and definition of loyalty, steadfastness, and faithfulness, and his life is a banner that flies from all our hearts to those who had the privilege to be with and know him. Mel’s legacy is the unseen and priceless treasure of the Love of Christ to others at work in and through his life living on forever.
Mel’s favorite Bible verses:
· Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
· Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
· Psalms 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard means delivered me from all my fears.