Darrell “Tom” Mayfield, beloved Papah, passed away at age 64 on Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 2018. Tom was born Roswell, NM on July 9th, 1954 and along with his large military family lived in several places before settling in Kansas City, MO. He joined the United States Air Force after graduating from Ruskin High School. Tom handled bomb navigation during the Vietnam War before withdrawing from active duty to pursue his education.
He earned Associate’s Degrees in both Psychology and Electrical Engineering from Longview Community College, where he was actively involved on campus and served as Student Government President. In the mist of those degrees, Tom met and started dating the love of his life, Judee Lee Hixson. Shortly after, Tom began his career in Electrical Maintenance and rejoined the Air Force as a Reservist Medical Technician. The two would marry on February 2nd, 1984 and began growing their family. Serena April Mayfield (Persaud) was born March 22nd, 1985, Tiffany Colleen Mayfield (Riggs) on September 8th, 1986, and Miles Thomas Mayfield on March 4th, 1988. Tom was a proud and loving father, not only attending every game but often coached his children’s teams becoming an influence and supporter of their friends and classmates. He was called back to active duty during the Gulf War, completing a tour in Saudi Arabia with Operation Desert Storm. He was honorably discharged in January 1995 and continued his civilian career with the same analytical and diligent presence.
Tom eagerly welcomed sons through marriage, Nick Sham Persaud and Jered Tyler Riggs. He considered Lisa Marie Gilson (soon to be Mayfield) another daughter and enjoyed spending time with each of them as if they were his own, but nothing brought Papah more joy than being with his grandchildren. He had a special relationship with each one: Shaylin (13), Deon (9), Malekai (6) and Logan (4). Whether it was a spontaneous trip to Chuck E Cheese, loading them up on sugar and soda, or a nice long wrestling session, no one could make them laugh as hard or get them in as much trouble as Papah. Tom approached life with a positivity and charm that not only allowed him to get by with a sarcastic comment or corny joke, but drew people to him for a good story or big hug. He will be greatly missed and the memories we share will continue to provide comfort and bring us together.