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1930 Dr. Lafayette 2024

Dr. Lafayette Maynard

March 15, 1930 — March 6, 2024

Diamondhead

Lafayette “Lafe” Maynard, PhD, departed this life and proceeded to the next adventure on March 6, 2024, just shy of his 94th birthday. Born in Cochran, Georgia on March 15, 1930, Lafe grew up on a farm with a lively bunch of siblings comprised of five younger brothers and one younger sister. Lafe had an intense curiosity and an ongoing thirst for knowledge from a very young age, and he favored a rational understanding of the world around us. 

 Lafe started a family in Macon, GA, and worked at Durkee Foods, then Georgia Kaolin, but his scientific ambitions took him to Atlanta, GA. There he received both undergraduate and master’s degrees in Physics from Georgia Tech. He relocated his family to Honolulu for a doctorate in Marine Geophysics from University of Hawaii. These years of research into the composition of the ocean floor took him on voyages throughout the South Pacific and East Asia. He returned to Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 to take a faculty position at Georgia Tech. After several years in academics there, he followed his research funding to NORDA (Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity) now known as the Naval Research Laboratory at the Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. He was a senior research geophysicist there until his retirement in 1996. Lafe enjoyed his many decades living on the Gulf coast in the community of Diamondhead, Mississippi, where, upon retirement, he enjoyed his daily 4–6-mile walks and being helpful to his neighbors. 

 An avid fly fisherman, Lafe had a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. He could identify birds by ear, do numerous frog and bird calls himself, and spent many hours tromping in the woods with his grandsons as they were growing up. Lafe was a talented handyman, always traveling with a car full of tools “just in case”. Ever energetic and sharp witted, Lafe loved telling a tale or making a joke (or a pun that would make you groan!). He was gifted with the ability to out-talk anybody. Articulate and entertaining, he regaled his audience with such topics as the youthful hijinks of his brothers or his many travels. We are going to miss hearing his voice and those stories. 

 He is survived by former wife of 25 years, Joyce Weathers Mullinax (Van Mullinax), and their daughter, B. Michele Maynard (David Warshauer); grandson Isaac Warshauer (Laura Veit) and their son Albert; and grandsons Aaron Warshauer and Jacob Warshauer. He is also survived by his brother Fred Maynard (Sandra Smith) and his sister Carol Maynard Landreau (Jim Landreau), as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Lafe was predeceased by his parents, Thomas Grady Maynard and Alice Barlow Maynard, and his brothers Frank, Billy, Harold and Lester. 

 No service is currently planned. His ashes will be scattered in Mississippi, Georgia and Hawaii in separate celebrations of his life in the coming months. Contributions can be made in his memory to The Nature Conservancy (preserve.nature.org) or Coastal Conservation Association of Mississippi (ccofms.com)

Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Lafayette “Lafe” Maynard, PhD. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Lafayette Maynard, please visit our flower store.

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