Ardath Hurst Mayhar

February 20, 1930February 1, 2012

Ardath Frances (Hurst) Mayhar died Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, in Nacogdoches, Texas. She was 81.

Born Feb. 20, 1930, to Bert Hurst and Ardath Ellington, in Timpson, Texas, Ardath Mayhar was the author of more than 60 books ranging from science fiction, fantasy, horror and young adult to historical and westerns, with some work under the pseudonyms Frank Cannon, Frances Hurst and John Killdeer. She began her writing career as a poet when she was 19 and began publishing science fiction in 1979 after returning with her family to Texas from Oregon.

She was nominated for the Mark Twain Readers Award, won the Balrog Award, was nominated for awards in almost every fiction genre, and won many awards for poetry. In 2008, she was chosen by the Science Fiction Writers of America as their author emeritus. Mayhar also owned and operated The View from Orbit Bookstore in Nacogdoches with her husband Joe until his death in 1999, after which she sold the store.

Mayhar taught writing through the Writer's Digest school, provided book doctoring, and mentored numerous young authors. Until her health declined, Mayhar's reputation was such that she spoke regularly in the area, drawing large crowds to listen to her wit and wisdom.

She is survived by two sons, James Mayhar and Frank Mayhar; two stepsons, Robert Mayhar and William Mayhar; grandchildren, Kai Mayhar, and Brad Mayhar; sister, Judy Corley; and brother, Joe Bert Hurst.

Memorial services are pending and will be announced later.

Arrangements are under the direction of Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors, located at 5400 North Street in Nacogdoches, Texas. Online condolences and memories may be offered at


  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ardath Hurst Mayhar

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Marian Dirienzo

November 4, 2013

Ardath worked with me for four years, painstakingly editing my fantasy genre novel. Sadly, she did not live to see the fruits of her labor...accepted for publishing, and being released early next year...thank you Ardath.

Dorman Nelson

February 26, 2013

Loved talking with her over the years....last I heard from her was her interest in the Oregon Trail.....I hope she has been hiking it in peace.....glad I shared the writing roads and will....rereading her books....Dorman Nelson, Los Angeles.....

Ruth Kubacka

December 12, 2012

I lived in Nac during the mid-80s when I was at college. Luckily my apartment was only a few blocks from A View From Orbit and an easy walk. Ardath was always behind the counter, a smart and gracious lady.

sandra allmon

November 12, 2012

i was glad to call her friend.

Maggie Wright

August 18, 2012

I'm honored to have known Ardath. Not only did she help me with my latest book, but we shared admiration for animals, their sentience and intelligence. Thank you, Ardath!

Lorraine Brown

August 15, 2012

Ardath Mayhar touched me with her great talent and changed my life.

David Persons

August 12, 2012

Ardath and Joe were wonderful people and good friends. Ardath's writing will stand with the best of the genre, and she was a writing giant. Her writing, her sense of humor, and her class and intelligence will be missed by all of us fortunate enough to be her friends.

Gary Makries

February 23, 2012

I spent many long summer afternoons and evenings after school visiting with Ardath. For more than a decade she helped shape my world with her wisdom and wit. I always thought of her as a grandmother and will always cherish the advice she gave me. Farewell, Ardath.

February 22, 2012

Ardath was a dear friend and my anchor as a writing mentor. Having said that, I never had the privilege of meeting her in person and yet I had this wonderful relationship with her. That speaks volumes about her.

Eugene Fornea (Duluth, MN)

Evelyn(Bobbye) Haley

February 11, 2012