Grace Mildred Swenson Mayes, 98, was called home Wednesday, February 17, 2016, at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach, VA, while surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Cornwall, NY, Mrs. Mayes was the daughter of Ernest and Florence Swenson. She graduated from Syracuse University where she met her husband, William Glenn Mayes. They moved to Akron, OH where she lived until 2006. Grace moved to Virginia Beach, VA where she lived near her daughter, Carol and her family.
After graduating from Syracuse University, she met her husband, William Glenn Mayes, who earned his PH.D. in microscopy at Cornell University. In 1940, the two love birds married and in 1945 moved to Akron, OH, where Mrs. Mayes taught school in the Akron Public School System. After a career of teaching in Akron, Mrs. Mayes retired and took photography and oil painting classes at Akron University. Later she became active in Akron International Friendship – currently named Global Ties Akron – even serving as the president of the organization, which hosted international visitors from the state department, international students going to Akron University and Japanese students visiting the United States to practice their English skills. For her service with Akron International, Mrs. Mayes was recognized by the State Department for her work, and presented with the Emery Award in 2005. She was an active member in both the First United Methodist Church and later the Church of the Good Shepard. In 2006, Mrs. Mayes moved to Virginia Beach, VA to be closer to her family, who had all moved away from Akron throughout the years. While there, she enjoyed Thalia United Methodist Church and the many activities put together by Atlantic Shores Retirement Community.
Mrs. Mayes was preceded in death by her loving husband of 59 years, Glenn Mayes. She is survived by her children, Carol (and Doug) Wehner of Belle Haven, VA, Marilyn (and Tom) Zeleznik of Hilton Head, SC, and William (and Dorie) Mayes of Waxhaw, NC, as well as seven grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on March 5, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the Altmeyer Funeral Home at 1801 Baltic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA. The Service will be officiated by Reverend Elinor Dalton.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Global Ties Akron or Thalia United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 4321 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 or Medi Home Health & Hospice, 530 Independence Parkway, Suite 200, Chesapeake, VA 23320. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family by clicking on the Post a Condolence link below.