Walter P. Mayfield, Jr.Published 5:39pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Walter P. Mayfield, Jr., age 79, died January 27, 2013, in Alexander City, Alabama, the town where he was born in 1933.
The son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Walter Patton (Melba Carlisle) Mayfield, he attended local schools, graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1956 and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY in 1959.
He also studied at Harvard University for two years and briefly attended Tulane University School of Medicine.
Mr. Mayfield served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps at Fort Detrick, MD as an editor of classified, technical reports and won a full tuition scholarship to RPI’s graduate school while at Fort Detrick.
He worked as a reporter for The Times Picayune Newspaper in New Orleans, LA and for The Springfield Union and Springfield Sunday Republican Newspapers in Springfield, MA for many years. Mr. Mayfield was a founding faculty member in 1967 of Springfield Technical Community College when it took over the Springfield Armory founded by Gen. George Washington before 1776.
Working two full time jobs for many years, he taught English in the mornings and was a reporter afternoons and nights. He retired from STCC in 1998 after 31 years and taught at other Massachusetts schools, Springfield College and Western New England College, as well as at Tuskegee University in Alabama.
He returned to live full time in his home town and teach part time at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) from 2001 to 2010. Also he actively engaged in tree farming and was granted U. S. Department of Agriculture Treasure Forest status.
For several years he studied writing at the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center in New York City. He had two one-man shows of his stories about his hometown at La Mama Experimental Theater in New York. National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” nightly news bought and recorder six of his stories for broadcast.
He leaves his sister, Melba Mayfield Turner; two nephews, Patton Mayfield Turner of Columbus, GA and Richard Felder Turner III of Fayetteville, AR, four grandnephews and one grandniece.
No visiting hours will be held at Mr. Mayfield’s request. The family requests no flowers.
Memorial messages may be sent to the family at www.radneyfuneralhome.com.
Radney Funeral Home in Alexander City, AL is in charge of the arrangements.