Arthur Paul Mayer, Jr.
September 21, 1931 – May 12, 2022
2010 Delaware Senior Athlete of the Year
Arthur Paul Mayer, Jr. died at Christiana Hospital on May 12 after a brief illness. He was born on September 21, 1931 at the Evangelical Hospital in Chicago, Illinois; the first child of Arthur Paul Mayer, Sr. and Constance Agnes (nee) Korres. The family returned to the Mayer family farm on Elkton Road in Newark, Delaware shortly thereafter.
A life-long resident of Newark, Art was known as ‘Mr. Delaware’ to his family. He graduated in 1949 from Newark High School, earned a BS in Agriculture in 1953 from the University of Delaware (Sigma Nu), and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957. Upon graduation, he worked at Brandywine Raceway and served as the Chief Veterinarian at Delaware Park. He also was a Veterinary Pathologist for the Dupont Company, Haskell Laboratory. He owned and Mayerdale Animal Hospital on Elkton Road in Newark where he first specialized in farm animals and race horses and then, as Newark changed, small animals, treating generations of family pets until his retirement, in 2016, at age 85. In 1993, he was recognized as Delaware “Veterinarian of the Year.”
Art was active in the community. For many years, he was a councilman for the 5th District in Newark and was selected as Deputy Mayor of Newark by his fellow councilpersons. He served twice as the President of the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association and for years on the Board of Trustees of University of Delaware’s Blue and Gold Club. Art was a volunteer firefighter at the Aetna Hose, Hook, and Ladder Company of Newark, serving for several years as its Vice President. He also served for decades as a Eucharistic Minister at Resurrection Catholic Church.
Art did not learn to swim until college, but then became a record-breaking stand-out, captaining the University of Delaware men’s swimming team his senior year and, in 1953, becoming the first Blue Hen swimmer to compete in the NCAA swimming championships. In 1971 he co-founded the Delaware Blue Hen Masters Swim Team; going on to participate, and break records in the United States and Canada, for the next 50 years. In 2010 he was recognized by the Delaware Senior Olympics as “Delaware Senior Athlete of the Year,” in 2013 he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, in 2017 he was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame, and in October 2020, at the age of 90, he swam in the Long Course National Masters Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, earning two silver and two bronze medals for his Colonial 1776 Masters Swimming Team.
Art loved to learn and he loved to travel, visiting all 50 states and over three dozen countries.
Art was pre-deceased by three children: Kathleen Ellen Mayer (1963), Arthur Paul Mayer, III (2011) and Jennifer Lynn Mayer (2020). He is survived by four children Debby Woglom (Russ) of Corning NY; Conny Mayer of Takoma Park, MD; John Michael Mayer of Newark, DE; and Jennifer Mayer Young (Troy) of Vernon, TX, 14 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and his dear friend and fellow traveler of 25 years, Pam Butler.
A celebration of Art’s life will be held at the Delaware Saengerbund, 49 Salem Church Road, Newark DE 19713 on Friday, June 3 from 4 – 7 p.m. Dress is casual and guests are encouraged to wear blue and gold in recognition of Art’s life-long passion for all things Delaware, especially the University.
In Art’s memory, his daughters urge those who can to donate blood through the nearest American Red Cross Blood Donor Center. Contributions might also be made to two of his favorite charities: The Red Cloud Indian School (https://www.redcloudschool.org/) serving the Oglala Lakota Sioux community in South Dakota and the youth program at the Cecil County YMCA in Elkton MD (https://ymcachesapeake.org/locations/cecil-county-family-ymca ).