Larry Joe Mayhew was born on February 11, 1944, in Monmouth, Illinois to Willa and Joe Mayhew. He passed away on May 16, 2020, in Pinetop, Arizona. Larry grew up on his family’s farm in Alexis, Illinois. During his school years, Larry worked on the farm and participated in many school sports. After high school, he entered the School of Pharmacy at Drake University and graduated in 1967. His pharmacy career began with Osco Drug in the Chicago suburbs. In 1969, Larry married Sandra Sampson. The couple moved to Arizona in 1970. In 1972, Larry and Sandy welcomed their first son, Timothy, and then in 1974, their second son, Mark.
Practicing pharmacy in Arizona for over 35 years provided the opportunity for Larry to be the innovator he wished to become. He began his career as a staff pharmacist in a medical building pharmacy that provided exceptional personal service to patients including free delivery of prescriptions. After a short period of time, Larry purchased a portion of the pharmacy while working to acquire the rest of it, and within a few years, he owned the business. He then turned to slowly adding locations in other medical buildings throughout the valley with six being the final number of stores. Each Professional Pharmacy served the needs of either the particular community, or the group of physicians involved. During this time of expansion, the pharmacies began serving nursing homes. In the 1980’s, Medicare offered a pharmacy benefit to the hospice program. Professional Pharmacy was well known because of the nursing home service with “on call” availability and a wide distribution area. Larry was contracted for pharmacy services to the primary hospice in 1988. As the number of hospice contracts increased, pharmacy locations were sold. Professional Pharmacy became a one location closed shop pharmacy which served hospices throughout the state. Those were the years of pharmacy practice which were most meaningful and fulfilling to Larry. He sold the company and retired in 2005.
During his Arizona pharmacy years, Larry served a term as president of the Maricopa County Pharmacy Association, was president of the Arizona Pharmacy Association in 1984, and was president of the American College of Apothecaries in 1995-96. Larry served for two years on the Pharmacy Alumni Board of Drake University and received the Drake University Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2009.
Larry was a man of faith who was active in the Lutheran church. He lived his faith by quietly serving others and giving time to various boards and organizations. Some of the boards and organizations included: Barrow Neurological Foundation, Hospice of the Valley, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company, and Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research.
In his life away from pharmacy, Larry was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He relished the game of golf and spent a lot of his retirement time on the courses at the White Mountain Country Club and Fire Rock Country Club. He also loved his hometown teams: ASU, the Diamondbacks, the Suns, and the Cardinals, and passed this interest on to his sons and grandchildren. Most important, he passed on his values of faith, integrity, and a strong work ethic.
Larry was predeceased by his parents, Willa and Joe Mayhew, his sister, Sharon Morgan, and his son, Timothy. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, his son, Mark, his daughter-in-law, Christina, and four grandchildren: Mikaela, Aaron, Ian, and Dylan.
A Celebration of Life is tentatively planned for late July. Larry would want any memorials sent to: The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Foundation: https://give.supportbarrow.org/larrymayhew OR Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, P. O. Box 17444, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269
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