Former Palatka Daily News news editor dies at 61
Robert G. Mayes, a former news editor at the Palatka Daily News, died Monday. He was 61.
Mayes worked at the Palatka Daily News as the news editor from 2002-2009. He left early in 2009 to serve as the managing editor of The Mountain Press in Sevierville, Tenn. Prior to coming to Palatka, Mayes was a sports writer at the Huntsville Times in Alabama.
Former Palatka Daily News Publisher Rusty Starr said he remembered Mayes’ as a versatile journalist who was comfortable in numerous roles in the newsroom.
“He was an excellent member of the Daily News team, and he always had an interesting perspective, whatever subject was the topic of conversation. He looked at things differently than most people do, and that made him a special person and a great person to have around.”
Starr said Mayes came to Palatka largely to help with the design of the paper, but he also wrote columns and provided news coverage.
“He was capable of doing anything,” Starr said. “He was a utility player. He could play any position in the newsroom. That’s what made him a valuable member of the team.”
Putnam County Commissioner Karl Flagg was mayor of Palatka during Mayes’ tenure with the newspaper. He said Mayes was a dedicated journalist who sought to be fair.
“We developed a wonderful relationship,” Flagg said. “It was one of those kind of things when you discover an editor who has the people skills to go with the job. … He certainly became a part of the community here.
“He was sincere about the community when he was here. He sought to bring fair and impartial journalism to us, and I definitely remember him well.”
Mayes is survived by his wife, daughter and her family, son-in-law and his family, his mother and numerous other family members.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at Spry Funeral Home in Huntsville.