MAI, Donald Leon 80, died January 18, 2017 at his home in Oro Valley, Arizona. Don was born on March 26, 1936 in Finney County, Kansas, the fourth of five sons of Adam and Amelia (Killian) Mai. He graduated from Fort Hays State University and taught in southwestern Kansas before driving his Alfa Romeo to Seward along the AlCan Highway for a teaching job in 1962. Don taught in Sacramento, California for a year before returning to Seward to teach at various levels from 1964-1990. He retired from teaching high school math at Seward High in 1990. Along the way he coached the Seward High School girls’ basketball team for many years, leading several teams to the state championships.
In Seward, he met Ruth Winnecke, an elementary teacher. They were married on August 9, 1965 in Missouri. Together they raised two daughters, Natalie Joye Mai-Dixon (Wesley) and Audra Michele Chai (Wayne) in Seward. Don enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with family and friends in Alaska. He also loved the family farm near Kalvesta, Kansas, and many summers the family would drive from Alaska to Kansas, visiting friends and sightseeing along the way. Their love of travel led to trips across the US and also to Australia, Mexico, Kenya and Europe.
While in Seward, Don was active with Resurrection Lutheran Church, the Elks Club and served as a member of Seward’s Planning and Zoning Commission for several years.
After Don and Ruth retired, they divided their time between Oro Valley and the farm in Kansas. Don made several visits to Seward following Ruth’s death in 2008, especially enjoying his time catching up with other retired Seward teachers and church friends.
Don is survived by his daughters, Natalie of Fairport, NY and Audra of Orinda, CA; his three grandchildren, Jake Benjamin Dixon, Helena Joye Dixon and Nicole Ava Chai; his brothers, Raymond Mai and Wilbert Mai; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife and two brothers.
Memorial services will be held in Garden City, Kansas, on Monday, February 20, and in Oro Valley, Arizona, on Saturday, February 25. Donations in Don’s memory may be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church in Seward or the Resurrection Bay Historical Society.