Hector Michael (“Hack”) Mayer passed away peacefully on November 10, 2009. His final days were spent in the comfort and care of St. Monica’s Senior Citizen Home. Not a day of his brief residency there passed without his expressing deep gratitude for the loving attention he received from the staff of St. Monica’s. His family and friends join in thanking that capable, compassionate group of caretakers.
Hector Mayer was born on September 3, 1915, in Farmington, Illinois, the second son of Vincent and Linda (Bertholdy) Mayer.
He was married to Jacqueline Bechard on October 18, 1947 in Auch, France.
He was preceded in death by his younger brother Ron Mayer, of Racine, and later by his elder brother, Dr. Tully Mayer, of McAllen, Texas. In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by nephews Tim and Tom Mayer, both residents of Texas. He is also mourned by Dr. Mary Faith Terkildsen of Lake Bluff, Illinois. She is the god-daughter of Hack and Jackie and maintained a very tender relationship with them both.
If one were asked to characterize Hack Mayer’s life with a single word, that word would be loyalty. He had a deep and unswerving loyalty to the people, to the institutions, to the obligations that were the fabric of his long and productive life. As a combat infantry sergeant in General Patton’s Third Army he was awarded the coveted Bronze Star for courageous action in battle, not once, but twice. Though he was probably the only member of his platoon still alive, its other members were still the subjects of his fond and often amusing recollections. As a middle school teacher in the Racine Unified School District for much of his working life he won the respect and admiration of countless students. Decades after his retirement it was still a commonplace for former students to call out to him with obvious warmth and affection in restaurants and shopping malls.
The greatest sorrow of his long life was the collapse of his beloved Jacqueline’s health, which finally forced care upon her that entailed their physical separation after more than sixty years of intimately shared life.
Burial with full military honors will be in the family plot, Saturday, November 14, 2009, at 1 p.m. at West Lawn Memorial Park.
MARESH-MEREDIDITH & ACKLAM FUNERAL HOME
803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888