Louise Mayer, ‘First Lady Of The Skyliners’, Passes
Funeral services for Louise Mayer, who passed away at age 87 on the evening of May 12, were held on Wednesday, May 15, at10 am at Christ Lutheran Church, 300 Hillside Drive South, New Hyde Park, New York.
She was fondly known as the “First Lady of the Skyliners” after the all-male New York Skyliners drum and bugle corps awarded her a lifetime membership in 1965. She was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1994. Her late husband Henry (Lefty) Mayer was one of the six charter members when the Hall of Fame was founded by the late Vince Bruni of Rochester, New York in 1976.
She is survived by her children; Michael (Elaine), Susan (Andrew) and Linda (Joey). She was grandmother of Christopher, Lauren, Steven and Daniel (Errin) and great-grandmother of Hayden, Tanner, Isabella and Brandon.
Her involvement of more than 70 years with the drum and bugle corps community began in 1941, when she joined the Joseph B. Garity American Legion Junior Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps. In 1951, when her husband ‘Lefty’ joined the Garbarina-Mazarakos Skyliners, she also became a part of the Skyliner family. She had been closely associated with the operation of the Skyliners Alumni for more than a decade.
She was involved with Drum Corps Associates (DCA) since the organization was formed in the 1960s. She served on the board of governors of the Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS) and served as treasurer of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame for 10 years.
Lefty Mayer’s drum corps involvement began when he joined the Charles W. Heisser senior drum and bugle corps. In 1951, he became business manager for the Garbarina-Mazarakos Skyliners. For the next 25 years, he served as either business manager or director of the New York Skyliners. He was a driving force in organizing Drum Corps Associates, allowing senior drum and bugle corps in the United States and Canada to move away from the control of the American Legion (AL) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organizations. He served as the inaugural president of DCA.
Louise Mayer is the ninth member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame to pass away since last September’s induction ceremony in Rochester, New York. Those who passed earlier are Bob Adair, Rip Bernert, Dominic Fulginiti, Marty Hurley, Doug Kleinhans, John Manlove, Dick Pronti, Ralph Silverbrand.
For more information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, including biographies of members and a listing of corps of the decade since the 1940s, visit the Web site at www.worlddrumcorpshof.org/