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Ronald D. “CHIEF” Mayhew
Heaven needed a coach - it’s with extreme sadness and heartbreak that we have to say goodbye to our beloved husband, father, teacher, coach, and friend Ronald D. “CHIEF” Mayhew. It was the bottom of the ninth 2 outs - 3 balls and 2 strikes when Chief was up to bat and hit the homerun of his life, crossed home plate, and was welcomed with open arms in the field of dreams that he always dreamt about by our heavenly father.
Born Ronald Dale Mayhew on October 5, 1941 in Maitland, West Virginia he peacefully passed away on January 26, 2024 with his loving wife, son and son’s fiancée close by his side at CAMC General Hospital in Charleston, WV following a long battle with numerous health issues over the past few years.
He was proceeded in death by his father Percy Carlos Mayhew, his mother Pearl Capplino Mayhew, his stepmother Pauline Lawless Mayhew, his father-in-law Billy Joe Cook, and his sister-in-law Sherri Cook.
Those left to cherish his memory is his wife of forty-one and a half years Gwenn, his son Christopher and Chris’s fiancée JoAnna, brother Roger and Jan Mayhew, brother-in-laws and sisters-in-laws, J Keith and Frances Cook, Robin Lamb, Shelia and Marshall Long, Tammy and Bill Repass, Myra O’Neal, and his mother-in-law Alpha E. Cook. Nieces and nephews Erica Mayhew, Jason Williams, Lucas Repass, Bevin Cook, Traci Lamb, Jacob and Richard Blankenship, Cerena Long, Johnathan and Geoffrey O’Neal, Adam Graybeal, Cydni Green, many great nieces and nephews and step nieces and nephews. He will also be sadly missed by his tailgate buddies Larry Cooper, Terry Shumate and T. J. Cook. Nikki and Angie - your basketball Facetimes with Chief these past couple of weeks discussing offensive and defensive basketball plays and plans entitled him to coach right up to the end.
The ultimate message Chief conveyed throughout his life was that everyone matters, has potential, and a purpose. Even when you couldn’t see it within yourself, Chief found it for you. Every one of you mattered.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make a donation to the Pineville United Methodist Church and St Jude’s Children’s Hospital in the name of Ron “Chief” Mayhew.
A few facts that we could remember about Chief…
After graduating from Oceana High School, Chief joined the Air Force and was a Vietnam Veteran who proudly served his country for 4 years. He graduated from Beckley College, Morris Harvey College, West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, and the School of Modern Photography. He began his working career as the Wyoming County Sanitarian at the Wyoming County Health Department from 1967 to 1970. He was then employed by the Wyoming County Board of Education as a teacher and coach at Pineville High School from 1970 to 1999 and at Wyoming East High School from 1999 to 2007. He was then an Adult Education Instructor from 2007 to 2022. When Southern West Virginia Community College first opened, he was an instructor teaching night classes that were held at Pineville High School. He participated in the Pineville American Legion Post #133 and was the Post Commander in 1985/1986. He has been honored and is a member of the Who’s Who Among American Teachers. In 2015, his Adult Education Program was honored for accomplishing the title of “Program of the Year” in the state. In June 2023, he was inducted into the Oceana High School Hall of Fame - a very proud moment for him.
His career and time wasn’t always spent working on the baseball field (but it sure felt like it), going to practice and games during baseball, football and basketball seasons, Chief was also an accomplished photographer in Southern WV doing weddings, proms, family reunions, team photo shoots in every sport in every southern county.
Chief is known locally as Mr. Baseball but he was a multisport coach and over his long career - where to begin - he started coaching at an early age - while he was in high school he decided that he wanted to be a little league coach - so he did - he helped established the first Senior League team in Pineville. He started and participated in the Pineville American Legion Post 133 and Industrial League baseball teams in the late 80’s. He coached at Pineville High School, Pineville Middle School and Wyoming East - junior high and freshman basketball (girls and boys). He was the head varsity football coach at Pineville High School, freshman football coach at Pineville High School and Wyoming East High School and had the honor of being an assistant coach at Pineville High School when they were ”A” State Football Runner Up in 1988 and Wyoming East High School when they won the “AA” State Championship in 1999. He started the girls basketball program at Pineville High School and never had a losing season. He won many sectional tournaments (at that time there were no state championship tournaments for girls). At Wyoming East High School he continued his success as a girls basketball coach and never had a losing season - he lead the Wyoming East Lady Warriors to 4 straight state tournaments, 3 to the final 4 and 1 to the quarter finals and of course that meant he won a few sectional and regional games.
He started the baseball program at Pineville High School in 1974 - built 2 baseball fields for the Pineville Minutemen and 1 for the Wyoming East Warriors - During his 49 year career as head baseball coach, he had 48 winning seasons - that’s a percentage of 98.959% over 950 wins Here is where we’re supposed to insert all of his sectional and regional wins - unfortunately Chris and I can’t do that because he was such a humble person and we were always too busy with, not only baseball games, practice and working on the field but he was coaching football and basketball at the same time - and records didn’t mean anything to him - the only thing that ever mattered to him was the success of his players - not only on the field but in life. He was the Coalfield Conference Coach of the Year not only at Wyoming East but also Pineville High School - numerous times - the number of sectional championships he won is high but we (Chris and I) do know,
the regional championships is 5 - “AA” State Runner-up PHS 1991 & 1993 - WEHS 2000-2011-2012 and State Champions 2012. Was the WV Baseball Coach of the year in 2010-2011, American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Diamond National Regional Baseball Coach of the Year Division II in 2012, and was inducted into the WV Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2017. He was very fortunate and honored to have also had the opportunity to be a Major League Baseball Scout for the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets and the Florida Marlins that began in 2004.