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Gerald Mayhew, 87, led beautification efforts

He was loved by many around South Pasadena for his work to make it a more pleasant place to live, says Mayor Fred Held.

Gerald E. Mayhew, who served three terms on the City Commission, has died at age 87.

Mayhew, a leader in efforts to beautify the community, died Sunday (Aug. 1, 1999) at Pasadena Manor.

"Jerry was a very dedicated-type person," Mayor Fred Held said Tuesday. "He had his own personality. I remember when he gave his campaign speeches: "I love you all.' That was his campaign speech."

The mayor added: "He did a lot more than that. He was the commissioner of public works. He more or less started the first Beautification Commission for the city. He voted along with myself to lower the density in zoning from 20 units per acre to 15 per acre."

After leaving the commission, Mayhew, a founder and past vice president of the South Pasadena Civic Association, served from 1992 until earlier this year on the Mayor's Advisory Committee.

Part of his legacy after nine years on the commission is Mayhew's Walk, which winds into Duryea Park. The city recognized his efforts in naming him co-volunteer of the year in 1992 with Ken Samuels.

Born in Traverse City, Mich., Mayhew came here in 1972 from Royal Oak, Mich. For 32 years he was a supervisor and outside expeditor for the Chrysler Corp.'s Detroit Tank Plant. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater aboard ships taking part in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns.

Locally, he belonged to Pasadena Community Church, serving as a past officer of Operation Friendship and as a member of the Men's Fellowship Breakfast Group. He was a member of VFW Post 4256, Madeira Beach, and was a past president of Shore Towers Condo Association.

An avid traveler, he was a tour escort for First American Travel Agency and was a past vice president of the South Pasadena Golden Age Club.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Vera; two daughters, Shirley Adams, Canada and Florida, and Geraldine Martin, Fort Myers; a brother, Kenny, California; a sister, Darlene Leng, Michigan and Florida; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

National Cremation Society, St. Petersburg, is in charge of arrangements, which were not complete Tuesday.

_ Staff writer Romaine Kosharsky contributed to this obituary. Information from Times files was used.