September, 3 2019 | 3 min read
Richard Francis Mayer (85) was born in Indianapolis, IN, at the family home, on Thursday, September 14, 1933 to the late Frank Bernard Mayer and Stella Marie (Paetz) Mayer. Richard (Dick) passed away Thursday, August 29, 2019. Dick was the 4th of 6 children born to the Mayer Family.
Dick graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in 1947, from Cathedral High School in 1951 and from Indiana University in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business. Dick also attended the IU School of Law. During his college days, especially during the summer breaks Dick worked for the New York Central Rail Company. He also served in the Air National Guard for a short time. On November 5, 1960 Dick married the love of his life and best friend Rita Mae O’Gara. Dick and Rita had 4 sons and 1 daughter, Rick, Rob, Mick, Steve and Michele.
Soon after they were married a job opportunity from within his mother’s family at George L. Paetz and Sons became available and he left New York Central. Dick was a true entrepreneur and he could see the potential the family business held for growth. Dick and a cousin, Harold Paetz, helped build on their ancestors’ legacy originally started in the horse and buggy trade in 1897.
Dick with the help of his four sons and the foresight to see a changing marketplace, transformed the family business from residential, in to one of the most respected commercial upholstery fabric firms in the United States. In 1988 the company was taken in a new direction and George L Paetz and Sons transitioned into the contract fabric market. From this transformation Mayer Fabrics was formed. Dick had a special interest and place in his heart for a new and exciting, developing market niche in the field of correctional industries. Dick travelled the country working and training inmates, first in the reupholstery of furniture and ultimately training and assisting the correctional industry programs in producing new furniture for the office environment, college and universities and other federally and state supported agencies. After more than 30+ years in the correctional industry market most of these contacts and customers became like part of the Mayer family.
Some of Dick’s personal interests and hobbies included deep sea fishing and hunting. Dick was an avid IU Basketball and St. Louis Cardinals fan. Dick was a 4th Degree Knight with Fatima Council of the K of C.
Survivors include children: Richard F. (Cathy) Mayer, Jr., Robert T. (Theresa) Mayer, Michael K. (Debbie), Stephen T. (Lisa) and Michele A. (Mayer) Dunn; grandchildren: Bryan Mayer, Jeremy Tunny, Ryan Tunny, Maggie Mayer, Michael Mayer, Mason Mayer, Zachary Mayer, Andrew Mayer and Kaitlin Dunn. 5 Great Grandchildren: Nolan Tunny, Zane Blanchett, Remy Tunny, Griffin Tunny and expected November arrival Elly Mayer; sisters Delores (Mayer) Conner, Dorothy (Mayer) (James) Catton, Jeanne (Mayer) O’Gara, Joanne (Mayer) (William) Johnson; sisters-in-laws, Kathleen (O’Gara) White and Norma (Hornberger) O’Gara.
Dick was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years Rita Mae (O’Gara) Mayer, Grandson Matthew Richard Mayer, daughter-in-law Vicki Lynn (Rick) Mayer; sister Clarissa; in-laws: William and Mary Agnes (O’Gara) Branson, Thomas and Margaret (O’Gara) Reckley, Charles O’Gara, Thomas O’Gara, Leo White and Thomas Conner.