Joel S. Maye

Joel S. Maye

Joel S. Maye, 59, of Amarillo, TX died Wednesday, February 26, 2020, in Yorkville, IL.

Family visitation will be from 5:30-8:00 p.m., Monday, March 2, 2020, at Nelson Funeral Home, 1617 North Bridge St., Yorkville, IL.  A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 701 N. Randall Rd, Aurora, IL with the Rev. Liz Meade, rector, officiating.  A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, 2800 Paramount Blvd., Amarillo, TX with Kurt Oheim of Pinnacle Community Church officiating.

Joel was born October 18, 1960, in Houston, TX.  Following graduation from Dulles High School in Stafford, TX, he joined the US Air Force.  His career began working with his dad in an offshore-rig fire detection system business.  He later worked in the field of information technology across various industries including the law firm of Liddell, Sapp, Zivley Hill & LaBoon, in Houston, TX where he met Karen.  Determined to get her attention and win her affection, he brought her a single rose every Monday for an entire year.  It worked.  They were married September 5, 1992, in The Woodlands, TX.

Taking on the role as a responsible parent over two young stepdaughters, Katrina and Katie, was a challenge but he was there and present in their lives.  Family life had its usual ups and downs and a mutual love grew between them.  Their family expanded with the birth of twin granddaughters, Charlie and Lucy.  Karen simply told Joel that she would cry everyday if she couldn’t live near those grandkids.  And, no big surprise, he indulged her.  They relocated from Houston to Amarillo just 11 days before the twins were born.  Their grandson, Gus soon followed and their family was complete.

The most common word to describe Joel was “unique.”  He had an unquenchable desire for learning and could be found reading science and math books for fun. Always willing to be a beginner at a new endeavor, his curiosity and thirst for knowledge was wide-ranging and eclectic.  He could speak knowledgeably about movies, books, cars, tools, and had even developed an interest in hockey. Although the image of Joel that was most recognizable was his wild hair, beard, and Hawaiian shirts, to the delight of his mother, he recently had begun cultivating a more civilized appearance.

Joel’s quick wit and sense of humor were legendary, but his passion from a very early age was music.  He was self-taught on keyboards, piano, guitar, and drums.  He later was able to merge his computer skills with his love of music so he could play along with his favorite composers – anything from classical music to rock. He took those skills and passion and served for a number of years on the worship team at Pinnacle Community Church in Amarillo.   It was there he made friends that came together to play mini-concerts for the veterans at the VA Med Center, Race for the Cure, and other organizations.  His and Karen’s involvement in the Home Teams program at Pinnacle enriched their lives in the most meaningful of ways.  Their relationship with God was profoundly enhanced by their home team friends and weekly study.

For the past several years Joel and Karen lived apart so that he could get the medical care he needed.  He was blessed to live in Yorkville, IL with this mom, Susan, and next door to his sister, Melissa, who adored him, and his brother-in-law Ron, with whom he became good friends.  Joel and Karen’s devotion to one another allowed their relationship to endure this separation.  They talked every morning and evening and trips to and from Chicago were made often.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Jesse Carlton “Paw-Paw” Berry and Dorothy “Mama Dot” Spencer Berry, Woodrow Maye and Alcis Lorraine Maye.

Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Karen L. Maye, of Amarillo, TX; mother, Susan Caroline Moss, of Yorkville, IL; father, Talmadge Eugene Maye and wife, Wanda, of Montgomery, TX; sister, Melissa Anne Maye and husband Ronald Smrz, of Yorkville, IL; stepdaughters, Katrina Fields and husband Patrick Gilliland, and Katie Barden, all of Amarillo, TX; grandchildren, Charlie Fields, of Happy, TX, Audrey “Lucy” Fields, of Amarillo, TX, and Gus Fields, of Happy, TX; uncle, Carlton Berry and wife Jill, of Houston, TX; mother-in-law, Shirley Sangster, of Magnolia, TX; sisters-in-law, Gwen Polka and husband Mike, of Tomball, TX and Danell Sangster, of Magnolia, TX;  numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews; and a legion of friends.

Joel’s family gives heartfelt thanks to the amazing doctors and staff at Fox Valley Ophthalmology in St. Charles, IL for their generous and loving care of Joel.  Each of you made significant difference in our lives and we are profoundly grateful.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Sandwich Board of Aurora, 218 E. Benton St., Aurora, IL 60505; or to Snack Pak 4 Kids, 701 Park Place Ave., Amarillo, TX 79101.

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2 Replies to “Joel S. Maye”

  1. Donna, these were the very BEST times and always so much fun. We certainly made good memories. Love to you, Wes, and Madison. ❤

  2. Knowing Joel and Karen has been a huge blessing for us. Game night was always an adventure. Karen always found new ways to cheat while Joel distracted us. Our daughter, Madison, still talks about the way Joel used to pick at her to make her squeal. The loss of Joel leaves a huge hole in our hearts. We are very thankful that God brought them into our lives. Our hearts go out to Karen. We love you.

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