Robert Mayer

Robert Hilding Mayer

Saturday, January 17th, 1931 - Tuesday, July 14th, 2020
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ROBERT (Bob) HILDING MAYER left his temporary residence on earth in Murrieta, CA, and began life in his forever home (heaven) on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at the age of 89. He had won his victory over Parkinson’s Disease after a nearly ten year battle. From his heavenly Father he received a “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23, AMP)

Bob was born in Cicero, Illinois on January 17, 1931, to Hilding Emanuel Mayer and Elizabeth Jenny Kakac Mayer. His sister, Mary, joined the family a year later. When Hilding lost his Western Electric job during the depression, he moved his family to land he owned on Lake Mary, near Alexandria, MN, planning to develop it into the Shady Rest Resort-Farm.

Unfortunately, Hilding died in an accident shortly after arriving. Bob was only three years old at the time. Elizabeth, a registered nurse, remarried seven years later. Bob did his part to keep Shady Rest running smoothly. One of his jobs during the tourist season was to go out in his little sailboat to catch fish every day for the guests. He also kept them supplied with bait. During the school year, Bob would arrive early every day at the one-room District 74 schoolhouse, so he could start the fire before the teacher and other students arrived. When the lake froze over, he took short cuts over the ice.

Bob won a Naval ROTC scholarship to college, and followed his friend to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. When he married his first wife, he lost that NROTC scholarship, but he continued to attend university while working as a city surveyor, raising a growing family and serving a stint in the US Army and the Army Reserves, having been drafted during the Korean War. When he finally received his BS in Electrical Engineering, he moved the family to the Minneapolis area where he took a job with Honeywell.

After 13 years of marriage, Bob divorced his first wife and married his second wife who had five children from a previous marriage. Honeywell transferred him to their Seattle, WA, office to continue his work in undersea acoustics. On their way west, the family stopped in Sheridan, MT, where his new wife’s brother was a Baptist pastor. That brother could tell that Bob was burdened with guilt over ending his first marriage, and shared the hope of the gospel with him. Bob readily acknowledged that he was a sinner in need of a Savior. He became a new man in Christ when he trusted that Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for his sins.

The family eventually settled in Snohomish, WA, where they raised their (by then) seven children plus two daughters from Minnesota who joined them to attend school. Bob developed his handyman skills, and completely remodeled their home to accommodate his family. The family was active in a small Baptist church where Bob directed the choir. The pastor would drive down to Honeywell every week to disciple Bob over the lunch hour.

When the three youngest children were in high school, the family moved to Monarch Beach, CA, where Bob worked for McDonnell Douglas for a brief time, and then Hughes Aircraft, still working in undersea acoustics. While there, he joined a Baptist church where he sang in the choir and helped with building projects. He joined the Hughes Aircraft Flying club, learned to fly and purchased his first two airplanes.

Besides flying and fixing things, Bob also loved reading and learning new things, especially when it related to science and God’s creation. He grew up appreciating classical music. The Brandenburg Concertos helped him study for exams in college. He loved attending classical music concerts, and playing the piano to relax-but never in front of an audience. His only request regarding his “funeral” was that Antonin Dvorak’s symphony number 9 in e minor, opus 95, from The New World Symphony be played, especially “Going Home.” ( from 12:10 to 25:47)

Bob resisted divorcing his second wife as long as he could, but eventually was forced to give in after 28 years of marriage. When Hughes Aircraft later gave him a golden handshake with an early retirement, he purchased an RV and hit the road to visit his kids who were then scattered from Minnesota to Washington to Oregon and California. While camping with a daughter and son-in-law and family, they invited him to park his RV on their property in Washington. He got involved in their Presbyterian church, sang in the choir, worked on building projects and signed up to go to Huaraz, Peru, on a work crew.

In Peru, that work crew wasn’t able to finish the construction job before their departure, so the Wycliffe center manager asked Bob if he could return. Bob fell to his knees in the playing field he was preparing, telling God how he needed to finish earning his commercial pilot’s license back in the US. But Bob eventually yielded to God’s plan. He returned to Peru a week later, and stayed a few months.

Before Bob’s third trip to Peru, quite a few emails flew from his computer to Peru and vice versa. When he arrived on his third trip to Peru, he had a ring in his pocket! He married Janice Walker later that year in the U.S. When she said “I do,” she went from being a single lady to a wife, a step-mother of 11 adult children, and a grandmother of 21 grandchildren!

After a semester in Dallas, TX, Bob and Jan returned to Peru where Bob volunteered in a myriad of ways in support of Bible translation for the next five years.

After returning to the US in 2003, Bob continued serving Bibleless peoples as a volunteer at the Wycliffe office in Temecula, CA, until it closed. Bob and Jan got involved in a Calvary Chapel just down the road from them. Even after Bob’s second retirement, and having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, he served on the board of their home owners’ association for four years. He also participated in clinical studies related to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Bob is survived by his wife of 22 years, Janice Walker Mayer, and by ten adult children, 27 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandson:

1. Reva (and Ken) Lux, Salem OR: three grandchildren and eight great grandsons.

2. Becky (and Scott) Washburn, Shoreline, WA: two grandchildren and two great granddaughters.

3. Reed (and Rosa) Mayer, Capistrano Beach, CA: four grandchildren and one great grandson.

4. Marianne Fogel, Pease, MN: one granddaughter.

5. Diane (and Joel) Wright, Maple Valley, WA: three grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

6. Jane (and Larry) Moe, Elk River, MN: two granddaughters and one great granddaughter.

7. Rod (and Mariah) Mayer, San Clemente, CA: three grandchildren.

8. Kathy (and Neil) Tangen, Glenwood, MN: two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

9. Windy (and Mario) Citro, Capistrano Beach, CA: three granddaughters and two great granddaughters.

10. Robert Jon (and Michelle) Mayer, San Clemente, CA: two grandchildren.

Bob was predeceased by his father and mother; his sister, Mary Christianson and two of her sons; his daughter-in-law, Janet Mayer; and his daughter, Elaine Osoteo who gave him two grandsons, two great granddaughters and one great great grandson.

“You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:15-16, NLT)

Due to Riverside County, CA, restrictions at this time, the viewing (memorial) service at the Murrieta Valley Funeral Home and the committal service at Riverside National Cemetery to honor Bob and how he lived out God’s plan for 89 years, 5 months and 13 days, are limited in size. Those who care to, will be able to view the memorial service online once it is posted.
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Private Condolence

Marianne Fogel

Posted at 11:20pm
Open Letter to Dad

I remember the boulders, which seemed really close under the canoe and how big they were. You brought us canoeing somewhere where the water was amazingly clear and the rocks would pass just under the canoe and we glided over them smoothly, the water glistening and dripping off the paddles and making droplet trails. I will never forget how wonderful that was.

I remember being in the kitchen in the evenings when you grown-ups were drinking coffee and discussing news and it was nice just the sound of your voices exchanging. Years later when you and Jan would come to visit, we sat around the table like that and discussed the news of the day. It was so nice to just sit across the table from one another, become familiar with the sounds of your voices, your mannerisms, and hear your thoughts. I will miss not being able to do that.

I remember flying over Milaca with you and how we could see so much more than we could from the highway and how amazingly beautiful and green the land was and how we could see otherwise hidden lakes and homes. And when we banked into the turns it was so fun and when we approached the grass runway to land, the plane slowed to what seemed like a standstill, though we were probably flying about 70 miles per hour.

I remember coming to visit you in Snohomish and having cantaloupe and cheesecake on the jet, two foods I was sure I hated. I ate them without knowing their names and thought they were ambrosia, only to find out later I ate cantaloupe and cheesecake and that I absolutely loved them and I had been profoundly mistaken.

I learned to relish the Snohomish rain and it came to be rejuvenating and comforting. Thank you for introducing me to so many wonderful people and places and opportunities in my life. Thank you for being adventurous and sharing the good things you found in the world. Thank you for supporting us and for keeping in touch and visiting. Thank you for my family and my Artist Mom and my other dear brothers and sisters and for Jan and her great love, caring, dedication and spirit. I treasure all the loved ones you gave me.

I'm thankful I was able to see you last year. You sat in your chair with the mail. You set the envelopes on your lap so you could carefully inspect every letter to make sure you weren't late on any important bill or notification. Your hands moved carefully and gracefully. You had your wallet in your pocket, you carefully opened every compartment and made sure it was organized--habits that developed during years of hard work and responsibility. I now realize how you made sure everyone was taken care of and you were the one we depended on. Thank you for supporting us all when you were able. And thank you to Jan for caring for you and advocating for you for so many challenging years, even though I know you wanted to be the one to take care of her. I know you were still you, despite all the recent tribulations, because you still wanted to be the responsible one and you could still take delight in music and ice cream and a kiss from your wife. I will remember how good you were to me, Dad.


Pat Kingston

Posted at 06:58pm
Jan, I remember attending his and Bob's wedding. Although we didn't know Bob very well, it seems you did well by saying, "I Do" to Bob.
I know you'll miss him. You were good for each other.
Good bless you friend. You'll be in my prayers.

Pat Kingston

Rachel Yanac

Posted at 11:08am
Dear Jan and all of the Mayer family,

Our hearts were deeply saddened for all of you when we heard the news that Bob has left his home here on earth. At the same time, we are rejoicing with Bob over this exciting event in his life... knowing that he is now completely healthy and happy in his forever home in heaven with Jesus.
Our family is just one of the many people whose lives were blessed by Bob during his years in Peru. Bob took advantage of the time that he and Ade worked together managing the facilities of the Bible translation center by helping Ade with his English, and even more importantly, giving Ade tips and advice for how to talk to an American dad when Ade was preparing to meet my dad for the first time... and later ask him if we could get married!
I will forever be grateful for Bob's help in our little missionary kids' school in the mountains of Huaraz. I know that the kids enjoyed doing a shop class with Uncle Bob, and we're still using the doghouse that they built. Bob saved my skin by teaching 6th grade math one year, and I'm sure that the kids learned a whole lot more from Uncle Bob than they would have from me!
Because Bob was managing that center and helping me with the school, the parents of our students were able to finish New Testament translations for three different Quechua languages. It's a blessing for us to see people from all of those language groups reading God's Word and growing in their relationship with Him.
I have always been grateful to you, Bob's family, for sharing your husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa with us. We felt like part of Bob's family, too, and will miss his presence here on earth. What a beautiful thing to know that we'll all be together with him again someday. I'm looking forward to that reunion!

The Yanac family in Peru
Ade, Rachel, Danny & Luis

Janice Mayer Posted at 01:57pm

Thank you, Rachel for taking the time to capture your thoughts. Beautiful! Hugs, Jan

Vicki Kost-Pearson

Posted at 08:53pm
What a privilege to have known and served with Bob in Maple Valley, WA. I remember Bob's first trip to Peru and the love that blossomed between him and Jan and when they married. It has been exciting to watch what God has done in their marriage and lives together. Bob was a faithful servant of the Lord and served Him well all the years I have known him. God's great peace on Jan, all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren as they grieve the passing of this man who walked faithfully with his Lord. Our human hearts ache in the loss here on earth and until we see them again. In His and my love, Vicki

Paul Meyers

Posted at 08:20pm
I am honored to know Bob. I remember when Jan and Bob married, Jan was so excited about what God was going to do in their lives together. They truly loved each other and showed God's love to others.

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