US Marine Corps

Don E. Mayes

December 9, 1933 ~ August 1, 2020 (age 86)




Donald Eugene Mayes, 86, of Norman, Oklahoma passed from this Earth on August 1, 2020.


Don Mayes was born on December 9, 1933 in Enid, Oklahoma to Phoebe Lucille Paulk and Ralph Waldo Mayes. He attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he was the Drum Major and Champion Baton Twirler.  His name and photograph are enshrined in The National Baton Twirling Hall of Fame in Jamesville, Wisconsin.


Don began his college career at the University of Tulsa where he became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and met his future wife, Diane Brown. He later attended Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, TX where he was featured as their Drum Major. In 1955, he answered the call of his country and joined the Marine Corps. He was a member of the Marine Corps Band playing Trumpet, and, later, he became the USO Director to the Far East.


Upon leaving the armed forces, he worked for the American Red Cross in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was Technical Writer for Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas, and served as a Councilman and Mayor of Northglenn, Colorado. He spent many years as a shopping center manager in malls across America including Sooner Fashion Mall in Norman.


His entrepreneurial nature led him to many business ventures among them Mouse House Toys carrying Disney merchandise prior to Disney having its own stores, and Twirl House Company featuring batons and cheerleading supplies. Don also created a children’s cowboy lariat sold in gift stores. He authored the book, “Pageantry for a Sixty Piece Band,” created a twirler coloring book, and developed a doll clothesline.


Don was a true gentleman who was loved by many. He had a kind heart, and a unique sense of humor. One of his sons-in-law is quoted as saying, “He was the nicest man I ever knew, and I loved his stories.”


Donald is survived by his wife of 57 years, Diane; his daughters, Melody Britt, Dion (Chris) Mayes-Burnett, Arion Mayes (Chris) and her stepson, Elijah. He is also survived by his sister, Glenda (Jim) Alford and family; his cousin, Kristine Dugan and family; his grandchildren, Jeremy (Lisa) Britt and Mandy Britt; and great-grandchildren, Paxton Webb and Henry, William and Grace Britt, as well as extended family and friends.


The funeral services will be private.



A service summary is not available


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