Peter Towe Mays
December 13, 1953 – December 5, 2019
It is with the heaviest hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Pete Mays on December 5, 2019. He was a loving husband, wonderful father, devoted brother and son, faithful friend, generous coach, considerate co-worker and an easygoing, funny and all around great guy.
Born in Portland on December 13, 1953, to Wanda Towe Mays and Carl William Mays, Jr., Pete grew up in the Hayhurst neighborhood and graduated from Wilson High School. He followed in his big brother Steve’s footsteps and attended Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) and joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. It was through Sigma Chi that he made many life-long friends and memories. His graduation from OSU coincided with the final game of the Portland Trailblazers' 1977 NBA Championship series. He attended the graduation but followed the game on his transistor radio during the ceremony!
After college, Pete began his career with Pepsi Cola in Portland, OR. He started there as a driver and retired after 36 years as a market and restaurant account manager. He was known fondly as Pepsi Pete to his customers. Pete was well loved by all of his co-workers and clients. It was here at Pepsi that he met his wife of 31 years, Teri Augustyn.
Pete was most proud of his two children, Claudia Mays and William “Billy” Mays. He was affectionately known as “Disneyland Dad” because he made the fun stuff happen, from chocolate donuts every Saturday morning, coaching their baseball/softball/basketball teams, catching pitching practice, to going on bike rides and impromptu beach trips.
Pete could make friends with anyone and was interested in their story. Always easygoing, Pete was quick to crack jokes and bestow many friends a nickname. Honestly, we still don’t know some of his friends’ real names. He loved to be the forever jokester and his family begged him to get new material.
He was the type of guy who couldn’t sit still even for a moment. Ever active, he was a passionate mountain bike rider, off-road enthusiast, traveler and concert-goer. His friends recounted that he was always up for any adventure or activity. He particularly loved his cars and could be seen most Saturdays down at Cars & Coffee. The real cars weren’t enough; you could also find Pete driving his RC Jeep rock crawlers on makeshift courses.
An avid sports fan, Pete could rattle off stats for both his beloved Beavers and Blazers, as well as just about any other team and sport. He also loved attending the OSU tailgates and recruiting dinners with his fraternity brothers and friends.
When diagnosed with Lymphoma, many friends asked, “What can we do?” He was quick to invite them to come up to the hospital and bring him meals. His schedule was booked! Thank you to all the friends who helped - you made all the hospital stays bearable.
Pete wanted to make sure to thank his wonderful doctors and nurses at Compass Oncology, Providence Medical Center and OHSU for their care and compassion.
He is survived by his wife, Teri; children, Claudia and William; and brother, Steve.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm at St. John Fisher Catholic Church with a reception following at Old Market Pub & Brewery. Pete had a soft spot in his heart for the Children’s Cancer Association as he could not imagine those darling children enduring what he went through. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to this organization.
- Children's Cancer Association
- Memorial Mass Saturday, January 4, 2020
- Reception Saturday, January 4, 2020
Peter Towe Mays
January 2, 2020
Celebrate loudly all that Pete has meant to his family and friends this Saturday. I am sure he would love to be there with you, but will be there in spirit and in your hearts.
Pete and I knew each other from Sigma Chi, he was a bit older, but I clearly remember him, and his great attitude and brotherhood during our time in our fraternity.
Pete made you think, and laugh and kept you on your toes when he was in the room.
December 26, 2019
Pete and I met fall of '73, prior to rush week at the Sigma Chi house. He was one of the easiest guys to talk with...always interested in what was going on in your life. The great thing about Pete was that you could have no conversation for a couple of years, then pick right back up where you left off. Wonderful, compassionate, funny man. One of my favorite people ever!
December 26, 2019
I met Pete at the Fraternity, probably while he was on the basketball court. While he was not above giving us pledges "The Business", he was a gentle soul, a good and decent man. We so appreciated "Wee" sharing his final journey with us. Pete made a difference and we will miss #855. Thanks for sharing him Teri. Becky and Dave Mc, errrr, Nick Danger.
December 13, 2019
Peter and I met as pledge brothers at Oregon State in 1972. While living at Sigma Chi we bonded over house chores, basketball games in the parking lot and fraternity activities. Peter was a trusted friend and confidant in those years. After leaving college we stayed in touch and Peter was a groomsman in my wedding in 1978.
We drifted apart in the ensuing years as we both raised families and tended to our careers on the East and West sides of Portland.
We reconnected occasionally at OSU football games and what I saw in Peter was still a fun loving competitive spirit but more importantly a mature and sensitive individual with a great love of his family and healthy streak of social justice in his outlook of the world.
After Peter retired from Pepsi, I sensed a relief that work was done and a rekindled joy in his future with Teri, of travel and live concerts, outings with friends and in the Jeep, and camping with his big brother Steve, and Billy his son. While he and Teri lived a busy life even after his diagnosis, Peter was surely hoping for more.
We morn your loss Teri, Claudia, and Billy. A great husband, an encouraging father and a steadfast brother who will be greatly missed. We love you and your family.
December 7, 2019
Pete, nicknamed "The Wee", was my little brother at the Sigma Chi Fraternity and became one of my closet life long friends. He always had such a positive attitude towards life accompanied by his infectious smile. So many great memories with my little bro. I'll never forget you Peter.