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John R.

— Mays

John Rushing Mays, age 87, died after an extended battle with colon and brain cancer on December 11, 2021 .  

Dr. Mays is survived by his wife of 57 years, Elva Mays  his son Clifton Mays and daughters Anne Haddix and Catherine Fedotin. He is also survived by his sisters, Ella Sherron and Martha Weston.

He is preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Winfrey Mays of Beaumont, Texas. And sister Mary Hart. 

John Rushing Mays was born on April 22, 1934 in Jasper Texas to Ernest and Winfrey Mays.  He graduated from Jasper High School and continued his education at Lamar University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering.  He continued his education and received his Masters and Doctorate from the  University of Colorado in Civil Engineering.  He began his teaching career at Lamar University and was hired to teach engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1967.  He continued his 32 year teaching career at both the Boulder and Denver Campus and received numerous awards and recognition for his teaching skill and expertise.


Dr. Mays was a gentle and happy soul and a loving and benevolent father.  He met and married his wife Elva  when they were both attending a singing event in Beaumont Texas.  They adopted 2 children as well as taking guardianship of a third child (Catherine) later in life.


John was very active in the Gideons International for most of his adult life.  His duties took him throughout the United States and around the globe, including an extended period in South Korea.  Both he and Elva enjoyed travel and have journeyed far and wide.  From trips around South America, all through the Caribbean and across Europe, John and Elva enjoyed experiencing the festivities and culture that the world has to offer.  After retiring, they moved to High Point, North Carolina and established relationships with a local church and enjoyed exercising daily with members of the YWCA and YMCA – of which both he and Elva were members.


His family and friends will always remember him as a happy and caring individual, with a gentle spirit and a giving personality.

A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15th, at Cumby Funeral Home in High Point, North Carolina with visitation with the family after the service.  Their long time friend and pastor Jon Eric Woodward of Community Bible Church will officiate. All are welcome to attend and celebrate John’s life. In Lieu of flowers, donations to the Dr. John R. Mays Endowed Scholarship fund in Civil Engineering are encouraged and you can learn more at johnrmays.com.