CARSON CITY, NEV. – Joan K. Mayhew, a former resident of the Village of Cooperstown and retired first grade teacher, passed away Tuesday evening, May 25, 2021, at Carson Tahoe Care Center in Carson City, Nevada. She was 86.
Born August 6, 1934, in Oswego, Joan was a daughter of Frank and Clara (Bears) Koster.
She was married to Donald Kelsey “Duke” Mayhew for 52 years until his passing June 30, 2010.
For over thirty years, Joan taught first grade at the Cooperstown Elementary School. She was always actively involved in both the community as well as the Catholic church. When Joan relocated permanently to North Palm Beach, Florida, she remained active in education. She regularly volunteered her time, helping to teach reading to children with special needs at a nearby local school.
Everyone in her North Palm Beach condo community loved her. She treated her neighbors and friends like family. She enjoyed all the parties and activities available including water aerobics, crafts and relentlessly walking to stay in good health. She would invite anyone who had no place to spend holidays to come to her home for dinner. It was evident how many lives she touched by the amount of birthday cards she received every year.
Every time Joan relocated, she made friends instantly. She always had a joke or a funny story to make people smile. Joan spent five summers in Ohio, where she could be close to her daughter Jill and her grandchildren Dakota and Jordan. She made many friends at the Ohio Senior Center that she joined, and always wrote her friends there a funny ditty for their birthdays.
Her heart was so big she would help strangers by letting them live in her Ohio home during the winter months. She let an elderly couple in need stay at her home for free, as well as a family friend who relocated from Alaska. Family and friends regularly stayed at Joan’s when visiting Ohio. The running joke was that her home was an “in-between house” for anyone in need.
Joan was always the first to care for others throughout her life. She touched so many lives through her generosity. Her kindness and willingness to help will be missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by son Steve Mayhew and wife, Kim of New Fairfield, Conn., and their sons Kyle, Kevyn, Brandon and Austin; daughter Julia (Jill) Brown and husband, Mark of Dover, Ohio, and children Jordan and Dakota; daughter Lynn Pettibone and husband, Mike of Lake Tahoe, Nev., and two stepdaughters Michelle and Amanda, and Michelle’s son, Bradley.
She is also survived by a sister Sherrill Keenan and husband, John of Battle Mountain, Nev., and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Joan was predeceased by a son, Scott “Rod” Mayhew, in 2003
Visiting Hours will be from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered immediately afterwards with Fr. Michael Cambi, pastor officiating. The Service of Committal and Burial will follow in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.