Werner Oliver Mayer, 93, passed away Sunday, April 22, 2018, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston.
He was born on the Mayer farm in Colton on Dec. 25, 1924, to Charles and Ursula (Dahmen) Mayer.
Werner attended Guardian Angel School in Colton and graduated from Colton High School. He served in World War II from April 1945 to November 1945, when he returned home to help care for the family farm. In 1946, he worked for Harry Johnson, Paul Druffel and John Bauer, all farmers. He also worked as a laborer for a contractor at what is now Washington State University in Pullman. In 1951, he worked on a cattle ranch in White Bird. Then, from September 1953 to March 1954, he worked for Potlatch Forest Inc. (now Clearwater Paper). He worked two months for the Forest Service in 1954, before beginning his career in May 1954 with the Idaho Department of Highways. He worked as a crew foreman fondly nicknamed "Monk" until he retired in 1986 after 32 years. He also worked as a bartender on the weekends at The Arbor in North Lewiston from 1958 to 1983.
Werner and Vanita M. (Bailey) Mayer were married May 29, 1954, in Coeur d'Alene. They had five children, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Lodge and Eagles Lodge in Lewiston for many years. He also was a member of the Lewiston Employees Association for 30 years and served as its president for two years.
Werner loved cooking and making homemade sausage from his dad's German sausage recipe. He did all the grocery shopping, where he would spend hours socializing with employees, customers and always made it home with a box of his favorite doughnuts. Back in the day he loved to go jitterbugging with his wife and playing pinochle with his family. He liked camping and fishing at Soldier's Meadow. He enjoyed watching the Seahawks, Mariners, WSU and Gonzaga games and watching Fox News so he could keep his family informed. Playing solitaire at the kitchen counter or mahjong on the computer were things he liked to do as he got older. Anyone who came to his home knew he had a love for gardening. He enjoyed traveling and made several trips to Montana for family reunions, the Oregon coast, Laughlin, Nev., and Utah. He looked forward to spending time with his family and friends. His family has always been proud of his accomplishments and his ability to remember people's names and places and his strength as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Most importantly, they share an abundance of love for him that will never fade.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Vanita; son Leroy Mayer; granddaughter Jessica Bateman; great-granddaughter Kennadee Bateman; his parents, Charles and Ursula Mayer; sister Mary Margaret Mayer; brother Orville Mayer; brother-in-law Jim Davis; and seven half-siblings.
He is survived by his children, Debby and Scott McLean of Lewiston, Terry and Donna Mayer of Lewiston, Bruce and Paula Mayer of Bartlesville, Okla., and Tasha and Aaron Carper of Lewiston; daughter-in-law Doris Mayer of Logan, Utah; as well as 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; his sister, Lillian Davis of Colton; sister-in-law Clara Mae Mayer of Colton; mother-in-law Pearl Dielman of Lewiston; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family would like to thank Dr. Lessmeier and his staff at Heart Clinics Northwest, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston, all the doctors, nurses and CNAs, for their care of our sweet, lovable dad.
A rosary will be recited at 10 a.m. Saturday April 28, 2018, with a Mass celebrated at 10:30 a.m. at All Saints Catholic Church, 3330 14th St., Lewiston. A luncheon will follow.