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John Byron Mayo
John Byron Mayo Dec. 25, 1949 - Feb. 9, 2008 John Byron Mayo, 58, died in his home in Austin on Saturday, February 9, from complications of multiple sclerosis, which he fought valiantly for three decades. John was born on Christmas Day, 1949, in Rapid City, SD, to Evelyn B. Mayo, of Newcastle-on- Tyne, England, and then-Major Jesse L. Mayo, of Saratoga, Texas. Because of his father's career as a USAF navigator, John's high school freshman year was in Roswell, N. Mex.; sophomore year in Sevilla, Spain; junior year at Dreux, near Paris, France; and senior year in Wiesbaden, Germany. John came to Austin in 1967 to attend UT; he earned a degree in American Studies. He served on the Texas Union's Program Committee and was a member of the Tejas Club. After graduating, John moved to Manhattan. He sold advertising for Art In America. John soon began acting and studied with renowned teacher Sanford Meisner. He landed roles in television commercials, Off-Broadway productions and appearances on soap operas "Loving" and "One Life to Live". John was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988. He returned to Austin in 1993. He landed acting roles with Austin Shakespeare Festival and other local troupes. John began serving on the Board of Directors of the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in 1995 until his death, and was Chairman from 1997 until 2001. He also volunteered for the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and the Travis County Democratic Party. John was preceded in death by his father, Col. Jesse L. Mayo, in 1978; his mother, Evelyn Brigid Bell Mayo, in 2003; and his sister, Melissa Kim Mayo-King, in 1995. He is survived by sister, Pamela Mayo Clark, of Austin; two nieces, Teel Mayo Clark of Asheville, NC, and Naomi Summer King of Houma, LA; one nephew, Benjamin T. King of Houston; and one aunt, Ruth Mayo Buchanan, of Navasota, Texas. John is also survived by first cousins on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: ten native Texans and five natives of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Burial of John's ashes will be at 11:00 a.m. Sat., June 14, in the Teel Family Cemetery near Saratoga, Texas. John will be laid to rest near his parents and among six generations of his father's family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Neighborhood Playhouse, 340 E. 54th St; NY, NY 10022, or to Friends of Community Health Centers, Attn: Serena Starkey; RBJ Bldg., 5th Floor; 15 Waller St., Austin, TX 78702

Published in the Austin American-Statesman on 2/24/2008.