Search billions of records on

  Grayson County TXGenWeb 
Rose Marie Mayes (1918 - 2009)

Herald Democrat
Sherman, Texas 
January 7, 2009

DENISON - Rose Marie Katherine Riddle Mayes, who lived in Denison from the early 1930s to 1998, died in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 31, 2008. She was 90 years old.
Rosie, as she was known to many friends, was born May 11, 1918, in Kansas City, Mo.  She moved to Denison when she was about 12 years old.  Her father, Arthur J. Riddle, was sent to Denison to open and manage the southwest division of Kraft Foods, the fourth largest Kraft plant in the U.S.  Rose Marie graduated from the beautiful old Denison High School on Main Street in the class of 1936 and was the first queen of DHS's fall festival, Neewollah.  Her mother, Marie Denny Riddle, was a founder of the Denison Public Library.  After Arthur Riddle died, Marie Riddle married Jacob Thomas McCall.  She moved back to Denison after his death in the 1950s in order to be close to her only child, Rose Marie.
At Christian College in Columbia, Mo., Rose Marie won creative writing prizes.  She graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she was name to Theta Sigma  Phi, a national honor society for women in journalism.  She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma social sorority.  On December 7, 1940, she married architect and life-long Denison resident Donald Mayes, for whom Mayes Elementary School is named.  He designed the house at 7 Ridgeway Circle where Rosie eventually lived for nearly 50 years.  Donald died in 1966.

Donald & Rose Marie Mayes home
7 Ridgeway Circle
Denison, Texas

Rose Marie helped found the Denison Service League and served as its third president.  She served on the Denison Public Library Board and the board of the Sherman Community Players.  She was active in the Monodrama Club and Saint Luke's Episcopal Church Altar Guild.  She had many delightful experiences acting in the Denison Community Players.

After Donald's death, Rose taught English at Denison High School and at Grayson County College.  She studied French cooking at La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, France and then taught cooking courses at Austin College, both on campus and in her home.  As a senior citizen, Rosie authored columns in the Denison Herald and the Herald Democrat.
At the age of 80, Rose Marie moved to Cokesbury Village, a retirement and nursing care community in Hockessin, Delaware, just a few miles from the home of her daughter's family in Wilmington, Delaware.  After a fall in 2005, in which she broke a hip, her health declined.  However, less than a week before he death, she joined the family for the annual Christmas reading of Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wale."  She read her passage with the same joy she always showed when reading poetry.  To the very end, she remembered Denison and her old friends there with great affection.  Rosie's family will remember her tremendous vitality and keen interest in others, her love of reading and teaching and her pleasure in entertaining and cooking.
Rosie Marie Mayes' survivors include her son, Lee Riddle Mayes and his wife, Junie Henderson Mayes, of Santa Monica, Calif., and their son Matt of Los Angeles, California.  Her daughter, Melinda Mayes Penn and husband Robert E. Penn live in Wilmington, Delaware.  Their son Robert M. Penn and wife Rosanne, along with Rose Marie's great-granddaughter Emily Penn, live in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be sent to the Denison Public Library Memorial Book Fund, c/o Alvin Baily, Director, in memory of Rose Marie Riddle Mayes.
Funeral arrangement will be through Johnson-Moore Funeral Home of Denison.  The family will be present at a visitation from 5-6:30 p.m. on Friday, January 9, at Johnson-Moore Funeral Home.  Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, January 10 at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church with the Rev. Curt Norman officiating, followed by burial at Fairview Cemetery.


Elaine Nall Bay
Grayson County TXGenWeb