Cover photo for Henry Fredrick Mayland's Obituary
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1935 Henry 2024

Henry Fredrick Mayland

December 31, 1935 — January 11, 2024

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Henry “Hank” Fredrick Mayland

Henry “Hank” Fredrick Mayland passed away on January 11, 2024, in Plano, Texas. However, he will continue to live on in the hearts of the many people who loved him.

Hank was born on December 31, 1935, in Greybull, Wyoming. He grew up on a sheep ranch on the Arapaho Indian Reservation in Laramie, Wyoming, and graduated from Riverton Wyoming High School. 

As a young man, he attended the University of Wyoming at Laramie pursuing Agricultural Engineering. During his first two years there, he supported himself by working at a the university livestock farm. It entailed living at the old Wyoming Territorial Prison, with sheep on one end and cattle on the other. His apartment was in the middle. While attending the Lutheran Student Center on campus (a grateful break from where he lived), he met the love of his life, Vesta Catherine Muenster. Ever the romantic, he proposed to her on a trail above Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park, where she worked summers. On August 4, 1957, they married in Laramie and became the house parents at the Lutheran Student Center where their romance had begun.

Hank went on to earn a master’s in chemistry and a PhD in Soils from the University of Arizona, which led to a position as Research Soil Scientist and Research Leader with the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Kimberly, Idaho. During his 50+ year tenure, he took a one-year sabbatical at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, to work on research projects involving trace elements in cattle and sheep. Hank loved what he did and traveled the world doing it. For months at a time, he lived and worked in Mongolia, New Zealand, and Australia. Conversely, he and Vesta often hosted international scientists and travelers who were doing the same. Naturally, this fed his love of travel, leading him to explore such exotic places as Vietnam, Cambodia, Alaska, China, Japan, and Austria. Hank and Vesta lived, loved, and traveled the world together until her death in 2004.

Hank was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Twin Falls, Idaho for over 50 years, holding many leadership roles. After moving to Carrollton, Texas, in 2020, he was able to continue his faithful service at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church thanks to his dear cousin and friend, Nancy Bohlander. Never one to sit still, Hank also served as an Ambassador at Lakeview at Josey Ranch Senior Living, welcoming people to the community to help them feel comfortable in their new space and enjoyed singing in the Lakeview choir to bring joy to those around him.

If there were two things Hank would want you to know, it’d be that his groundbreaking research on forage was featured on Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story and that he watched Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump from a lawn chair on this roof.

What his family would add is that he loved music, theater (especially musicals), and exploring different cuisines—Chinese being his favorite.

Hank is preceded in death by his wife, Vesta Mayland of Twin Falls, ID and his parents, Chris and Molly (Haun) Mayland of Riverton, WY. He is survived by his son, Mark Mayland of Dallas, TX; daughter, Michelle Mayland of Phoenix, AZ, and her sons Chris (Lauren) and Nick Johnson (Riley); grandchildren Shayn Johnson, Arlo Johnson, and Sutton Johnson; siblings Paul (Deanna) Mayland of Fargo, ND, Harold (Marilyn) Mayland of Denver, CO, and Marybelle (Jim) Snider of Riverton, WY.; and many loving cousins.

A Celebration of Life was held on February 27 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, in Carrollton, TX. 

A second Celebration of Life will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church, located at 2055 Filer Ave E., Twin Falls, ID June 15 at 11:00 am.

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be given to the American Heart Association or Camp Perkins Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Hailey, ID.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the guestbook section below.


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