Sky Scene 07
Official Obituary of

Gary Mayer

August 17, 1941 ~ March 18, 2024 (age 82) 82 Years Old

Gary Mayer Obituary

Dr. Gary Howard Mayer, 82, of Nacogdoches, Texas, passed away, March 18, 2024, at the Hospice of East Texas in Tyler after a brief battle with cancer. He was born August 17, 1941, in Hollywood, California.

While very proud of his Jewish heritage and often speaking fondly and jokingly of being a member “of the tribe,” he converted to Christianity and accepted the Lord as his Savior. He was baptized and became a member of First Christian Church in Nacogdoches.

He held a Ph.D. (English) from Baylor University, a master's degree (journalism), and two bachelor's degrees (journalism & psychology) from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a proud Longhorn and Delta Chi fraternity alumnus.

After 27 years of teaching at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) and more than 50 years of full-time teaching in total, Dr. Mayer retired at the conclusion of the spring 2019 semester as Professor Emeritus.

In 2018, the readers of the student newspaper (The Pine Log) named him the “Best Faculty Member” at SFA. In 2003, he was the recipient of the College of Applied Arts and Sciences “Teaching Excellence Award.” In 2011, Dr. Mayer was elected to the Sinclair Lewis Society’s Board of Directors in New York City and held that position for half a decade.

He began his full-time career as a professor in 1969 at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee [1969-1971]. He then transitioned to teaching stints at Troy State University in Alabama [1971-1975], Texas A&M-Commerce (East Texas State University at the time) [1976-1984], Wayland Baptist University (Texas) [1984-1991], and finally, in 1992, he arrived at Stephen F. Austin State University.

He loved being in a classroom teaching future media professionals, and having a captive audience to share his stories and jokes. After retirement, he continued teaching part-time. His legacy will live on in the thousands of students he taught and mentored over more than half a century.

Dr. Mayer was an avid dog lover and had custom made t-shirts and ties with his beloved dogs’ photos on them (accompanied by his signature brown corduroy sport coat, jeans, and cowboy boots). He sipped coffee from mugs that also had photos on them of his cherished dogs Happy Mayer, Kimball Ross Mayer, and Katie Mayer. Yes, all of his pets had full names and he talked about them constantly to anyone who would listen.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Bernice Skains (and stepfather Raymond Skains) of Houston, Texas, and his biological father, Henry Mayer of Los Angeles, California.

He very much loved his family and is survived by his cherished wife of 55 years, Judy Mayer, whom he met while at Baylor University; daughter Michelle Cantu (David) of Rockwall, Texas; son Michael Mayer (Jen) of Pflugerville, Texas; and, three grandchildren: John Michael Gleinser of Lubbock, Texas; Katelynn Grace Gleinser of Rockwall, Texas, and Lily Judith Mayer of Pflugerville, Texas.

Dr. Mayer proudly shared the same birthday (August 17) with his son, Michael, and his grandson, John Michael.

Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2024, at First Christian Church in Nacogdoches, Texas at 3:00 pm with family visitation at the church from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Dr. John Denby, Senior Pastor, will officiate.

Burial will immediately follow at Sunset Memorial Park.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Mayer, please visit our floral store.

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March 24, 2024

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
First Christian Church of Nacogdoches
702 N Mound Street
Nacogdoches, TX 75961

Funeral Service
March 24, 2024

3:00 PM
First Christian Church of Nacogdoches
702 N Mound Street
Nacogdoches, TX 75961


Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery
5127 North St
Nacogdoches, TX 75965


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