Joan Bowman Pursley Mayer, 88

Published 10:49 am Friday, February 18, 2022

Joan Bowman Pursley Mayer, 88, died February 12, 2022. Joan was born in Lexington, KY on June 6, 1933 to the late William Fauntleroy Pursley and Charlotte Bowman Pursley. Joan attended Winchester High School where she was a member of the debate team. After high school Joan attended Bradford Jr. College in Massachusetts where she was elected president of her freshman class. She then continued her education graduating from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. After her marriage to Marine Corp Lt. Gerald S. Mayer, she and her husband were stationed for two years at NATO Headquarters in Naples, Italy. They returned to their farm in Clark County to restore Joan’s 1790 ancestral home, where she lived out her life. Horses were an important part of Joan’s life; she began riding ponies at two years old. Joan’s parents were integral members of the Iroquois Hunt. Joan’s father, Fauntleroy, served as Master of Fox Hounds for 42 years. His wife Charlotte was Field Master for thirty-seven years. Joan followed as Master and enjoyed hunting with Iroquois into her late seventies. Joan also enjoyed other hobbies such as swimming, running, biking, yoga, painting, acting, and taking daily walks over the farm with her dogs. In her later years, Joan researched her parents’ lengthy genealogies dating from 1806. She used her research to publish the book “Of Family and Place, a Narrative History”. It contains many stories of the lives of her parents and those who came before them. Her Bowman ancestors were instrumental in the founding of both Transylvania College and the University of Kentucky. Previously, her uncle John Bowman, Col. Of the Kentucky Militia, had led his troops to break the Indian Siege of Fort Boonesborough. Joan was especially happy to live in the family home at Nursery Place, where her father, grandmother, and great grandmother were born. It is on land settled by her fifth great grandparents in 1810. Joan was a member of First Families of Kentucky and First Families of Clark County, The National Society of Colonial Dames of America, and the Iroquois Hunt Club. She and her parents are among the founding members of the St. Hubert Episcopal Church in Clark County, which she faithfully attended. Joan was predeceased by her sister Betty Pursley Gess. Joan is survived by two sons: John Fauntleroy Pursley Mayer (Martie) and Mark deWael Mayer (Carlisle). She leaves six grandchildren: Griffin Fauntleroy Mayer (Jennifer), Walker Haggin Mayer (Alice), William deWael Mayer, Samuel Pearce Mayer (Ann), Solomon Van Meter Mayer, and Charlotte Bowman Mayer. Three great grandchildren: Bowman Fauntleroy Mayer, Mary Grace Mayer, and Sarah Carlisle Mayer. She is also survived by her brother-in-law Bill Gess, nephew Bush Gess (Edie), niece Diane Alverson (Bill), a great niece, five great nephews, and many close friends. Joan will be at rest in her family cemetery near her home at Nursery Place. In lieu of flowers memorial donations are suggested to the Lexington Humane Society.

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