Donald Leon Mai, 80, died Wednesday, 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 middle school and high school math in southwestern Kansas and Sacramento, California before settling in Seward, Alaska. He retired as a high school math teacher in 1990.
In Seward, he met Ruth Winnecke. 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 Alaska. 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.
After he and Ruth retired, they divided their time between Oro Valley and the farm in Kansas. 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.
Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, February 20, 2017 at St. James Lutheran Church in Garden City with Teri Sutherlin officiating. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emmaus House or St. James Lutheran Church in care of Garnand Funeral Home of Garden City.