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Joe Frederick Mayer

Feb 14, 2020

Artist, friend and teacher, Joe Mayer died of natural causes on January 28, 2020.

Born on March 27, 1931 in Johnstown, Pa., Joe joined the United States Marine Corps after high school and then the U.S. Army, later attending college on the GI Bill.

With a degree in advertising design, he began an art teaching career at Sherwood High School in Olney, Md. in the early 1960s, and later moved to be an art professor at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., where he served for over two decades, including many contributions as chair of the Art Department. He retired from that position in 1989, embarking on a career as a private art teacher and a full-time painter. He led hundreds of watercolor workshops along the eastern seaboard, as well as Mexico and France. His work hung in numerous juried shows of the American Watercolor Society, as well as dozens of regional art galleries. He was a prolific abstract artist who concentrated on composition.

Over the last 30 years of his life, Joe lived in Shepherdstown, W.Va.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Easton, Md., and he was active in starting or joining associations of artists in Easton and Shepherdstown. He was also a longtime cartoonist for the local newspaper, The Shepherdstown Chronicle, and a teacher of improvisational theater in Santa Fe, N.M. and Lifelong Learning at Shepherd University.

Joe was married twice, first to Careen Marie Rizzo, with whom he had three children, and later to Ann Sharp, also a professional artist. He is survived by Ann Sharp; children Dana Mayer, Eric Mayer and Andrea Mayer; stepchildren, Larry and Tom Zeigenfuss, Terry Vakas; and numerous grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held this spring in Shepherdstown, W.Va.