Dewitt J. Mayhew
January 3, 1921 – June 4, 2018
Dewitt J. Mayhew was born on January 3, 1921 in Bevier, Missouri and passed away on June 4, 2018 in Chatsworth, California
- Visitation Friday, June 29, 2018
- Graveside Service Saturday, June 30, 2018
Dewitt J. Mayhew
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June 29, 2018
My grandfather always seemed almost larger than life to me. He was exactly who a grandfather should be: wise, strong, practical, with a rich, warm voice that could be tender when he spoke to children. He seemed impossibly sturdy; I especially appreciated his Midwestern values and work ethic
He was always a fixture in my life, a constant anchor to home, family, country wherever I might roam. I'm so glad my sons and husband had a chance to meet him. We are so blessed. It's hard to imagine a world without him.
Love Denise, with Mark, Anders & Adrian
June 22, 2018
My godfather, a very stoic man. I was fortunate enough to touch a more tender side of him. When I was a child we would visit atleast every Christmas. We would walk in with everyone exchanging hugs, and then all of us would sit and enjoy eachother's company. Dee would always hug me and then I would sit with him, and he, every year, would sing me a Christmas carol. Just to me. And I would feel so special.
In the last few years since the death of my godmother (who I was blessed to have a very close relationship with throughout my life), Dee and I have spoken often and I would say we had become friends. He loved his family! We spent hours talking about all of you, and he would tell me great stories about the love of his life, Francis.
Francis and Dee were a great gift to have in my life.
I will miss him greatly, my prayers are with you all.
June 19, 2018
He was an old fashion father, stoic and firm and always consistent.
He set an example for us, through the hard times and better ones,
and was always there to support us. He missed Mom greatly and talked
about her frequently. I am glad I could spend as much time as I did with
him in these past years. I will miss him greatly.
June 9, 2018
A strong loving father - old school. Lived a long life and was always in charge. Not too many of them, but I wouldn't know because he was my father.
After so many years with my father, it is hard to imagine he is not here now.
FROM THE FAMILY
DeWitt J. Mayhew
DeWitt Mayhew was born in Bevier, MO on January 3, 1921, the son of George DeWitt Mayhew and Florence Wardell.
He had one sibling, a sister Georgia Alyce, 10 years older.
At an early age, his father died in an automobile accident and his mother was left to raise both children alone. She never remarried.
Dee (DeWitt) was a good student and finished high school with honors, so he said. He left home and moved to Santa Monica, CA, where he was employed at Douglas Aircraft as an aircraft mechanic and soon met his future wife, Frances Castaneda, who lived next door.
In 1944, he was drafted into the Army and later was sent to Fort Riley, KS for training. He was trained on horse-back as a member of the last mounted cavalry unit. After basic training, he was sent to serve in the India, guarding routes near the Khyber pass, where he completed his service where he had the rank of Private. When he returned from overseas, he became engaged and in 1947, married Frances at Saint Clement’s Church in Santa Monica.
Dee and Frances had four children by 1952, Stephan, Deborah, Timothy & Melisa. The family lived in Santa Monica for many years. He was later a grandfather to Denise, Alex (Miano), and Tara, and great-grandfather to Anders and Adrian (DePierre), and Ronan and Quinn (Morelli).
Dee was employed in various occupations, including carpenter, general contractor and building inspector for the Santa Monica school district until he retired. A few years after, Dee and Frances moved to Prescott AZ and lived there until December 1994 when they moved to Chatsworth CA.
Frances suffered a stroke and was hospitalized until 2013 when she died. Dee stopped driving and sold his Lincoln when he turned 90, but lived on his own in the family home until his death on June 4, 2018.
He was well liked by most who met him. Timothy recalls that when they both were working at Santa Monica College, Dee would walk down the hall, whistling to announce his arrival in the area, so the maintenance crew would not be caught idle. The fellows all said they appreciated that. Many of Dee’s friends from Santa Monica and even earlier, kept contact with him until the end.
The family was not affluent, and many times had to improvise to entertain the children. There were picnics at Tapia Park in Malibu, road trips and back yard barbeques with friends that were fun yet frugal. One road trip was all the family in Dee’s sedan, with a fried chicken picnic lunch to Santa Barbara for the afternoon. When we arrived, it began to rain, so we ended up eating in the car. On another trip, this time to Hermosa Beach, on the way home, a traffic cop stopped us for some minor infraction. The policeman shined his flashlight into the car, and upon seeing 4 young children in the back seat, decided to give Dee a warning, instead of a ticket.
Raising 4 children was not without its challenges. Dee taught us all to ride bicycles, roller-skate, the boys to drive and his daughter to ride a horse. When it came time to do work around the house, boys and girls alike were taught to paint exterior and interior, and do many other minor home improvement chores.
Dee’s military training stayed with him throughout his life. The first things he did each morning were, in this order, get out of bed, make his bed, dress in his street clothes and make breakfast, which almost always included bacon. Until just shortly before his death, he was still taking out the trash, doing weekly grocery shopping, and housekeeping chores.
Dee was predeceased by his father (1926), mother (1980), sister (2009) and Frances.