Paul Mayo

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April 8, 1942 ~ January 24, 2021 (age 78)


Paul Mayo, 78 of Stephenville, Texas passed away on January 24, 2021.

Paul was born April 8,t942 in Grinnell, lowa to Charles and Bernice Haynes Mayo. Raised on the family farm as one of five children, the Mayos raised corn, soybeans, hogs, and dairy cows.


Paul attended grade school at rural, one-room Sheridan Township School, then Grinnell High School. Paul was a talented athlete and excelled,in both wrestling and rodeo. ln high school, he won the lowa State Championship in wrestling at 133 pounds. Paul also won the National High School Finals rodeo bareback riding title as a sophomore. His junior year, he came back to win the bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, and the National all-around title. He was offered scholarships to wrestle in college from several top universities; however, his true passion was rodeo, and he couldn’t wait to get out there and compete.


Paul made his debut in professional rodeo at 16 years old, winning second place at Cherokee, lowa, then placing in a go-round at Cheyenne, Wyoming, and winning first place at Vernon, Texas, all while using a letter from his principal at Grinnell High School to gain entry.

Paul would go on to win titles at every major rodeo in North America, including Calgary, Houston, Pendleton, and Cheyenne. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 12 times; 10 times in the bareback riding and 2 times in the bull riding. Paul won two world championships in the bareback riding in 1955 and 1970. He won money in both the roughstock and timed events in rodeo. This earned him the prestigious Linderman Award in 1968 for all-around excellence.


ln 2010, Paul was inducted into the Prorodeo Hall Of Fame, and in 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame.


Paul was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Delores Weaver, brother Bob Mayo, and the love of his life, Desma Purvis, whom he lost to cancer in 1991.

Paul is survived by brothers Don and Roger Mayo as well as nephews Beau and Les Mayo, Jim and Mark Weaver, and nieces Mary Whitehead and Diane Maas.


A memorial service for Paul Mayo will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, February 6,2023, at the Cowboy Church of Erath County. He will be laid to rest in Eakins Cemetery in Denton County, Texas.


ln lieu of flowers the family suggest donations to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919 www justincowboycrisisfund.org

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