Mike J. Maytes

10/8/1941 – 9/5/2022


Monday, September 12, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 PM

Roeder Mortuary ~ Gretna Chapel


Tuesday, September 13, 2022
11:00 AM

Roeder Mortuary ~ Gretna Chapel


Tuesday, September 13, 2022
12:45 PM

Greenwood Memorial Cemetery, Greenwood, NE


Tuesday, September 13, 2022
1:30 – 5:30 PM

Gretna American Legion & VFW
11690 S. 216th St. Gretna, NE 68028

Memorials to:

Hillcrest Hospice or Greenwood Memorial Cemetery

Roeder Mortuary:

11710 Standing Stone Dr. Gretna, NE 68028
(402) 496-9000

Mike loved to talk, was never shy and had a booming voice, he liked to argue sometimes just because, a trait his son in-law James and daughter in-laws Lisa and Melanie are happy he passed to his children.  Mike would start a conversation with anyone, loved to tinker with things, build, repair.  He worked long and hard in all kinds of weather to provide a good home for his family, they never wanted for anything.  They took vacations to the Black Hills, visited relatives in Ohio, went to Worlds of Fun, spent a month in Galena KS where he was working and took an RV to Colorado Springs.  In retirement he remained active as an honor guard member for the Legion and donated time to the Greenwood Cemetery of which Barb is a board member.

Michael “Mike” John Maytas was born Oct 8th, 1941, in Youngstown Ohio to Elmer and Katherine Maytas, both first generation Hungarians.  Mike was the 3rd of 4 children the eldest being their sister Geri Frank who he stayed close with his entire life, Ted Maytas (deceased), and the youngest Jim Maytas (deceased).  His father Elmer was a steelworker who worked nights and his mother took care of the kids and ran the household.

Mike told stories about how he and his older brother often picked on Jimmy the youngest, they once set fire to his tree house, with him in it, no one was injured.  They tied Jim up and Jim’s screaming woke their father, Mike and Ted escaped leaving poor Jim tied up to take the wrath of their father.  Mike left home after graduating Youngstown East High in 1959.  He joined the United States Air Force (where a clerical error changed his last name to Maytes) and proudly served for 4 years as a Medical Technician with tours at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio and Clark AB in the Philippines.

After being honorably discharged from the military Mike moved to the small town of Greenwood Nebraska in 1963.  Mikes always referred to “favorite” sister Geri was already living there with her husband Bob and their 4 children Karen, Nancy, Bobby, and Lori.  Mike rented an apartment over the old Co-op gas station off Highway 6 and began working as a salesman in Lincoln at Montgomery Wards.

One day while on break at Wards, he found himself alone with a beautiful young girl who was also on break from her job at Wards.  With just the two of them remaining in the breakroom they started talking and Mike got the nerve up to ask Barbara Sperry out for coffee, little did they know.

On Nov 14th, 1964, Mike and Barb were married in Lincoln Nebraska and moved into their first home, a trailer they purchased and had set in a trailer park in Greenwood across the street from his sister Geri and her family.  Mike at the time left Wards and was working for his father-in-law John Sperry at Sperry TV, a television and stereo repair shop in Lincoln.

Mike and Barb lived in their first home for 6 years and had their first child born March 12th, 1967, Michael Jeffry Maytes (Jeff) and two years later a second son, David John Maytes (Dave).  Growing their family, they made a big move all the way over to the west side of Greenwood in 1970 where they purchased a 3-bedroom trailer with their own lot on West Street.  Here they completed their family with their daughter born Feb 9th, 1971, Kristy Lynn Maytes (Kristy).

Having a small yard Mike had a shed where he tinkered with anything from small engines to larger projects, had a large garden, trees and yardwork.  All 3 kids eventually started school at the Greenwood elementary school.  They met long term friends, Lewis’, Sacca’s, the Ballard’s, Fiala’s, Twetons, and Larry and Sandy Hammers just to name a few.  He played with his kids in the winter, once building them a huge snow fort with steps up to the roof they could stand on.  He helped them build a mobile lemonade stand to sell lemonade and sandwiches to the construction workers who built the last grain elevator in town.  He and Barb were members of the Greenwood Fire and Rescue department.  Eventually with his family of five he took some advice from his brother in-law Bob Frank and got into the line of work he fell in love with, he became a telephone cable splicer.  He would eventually form his own business with long-term partner and friend Gene Russell from Minnesota.   As the kids entered school Barb entered the work force as well working for Sandy Hammers and Sparkling Clean.  While never really into sports, he always supported all three kids in all the sports and activities they did, including Barb in softball.  Even though he was frequently on the road he rarely if ever missed a birthday or holiday.  Eventually the 3-bedroom trailer began to feel a little tight on the family.

In 1979 Mike gathered his family once again for their second big move.  The Maytes family moved about 2 blocks north in Greenwood to their first real house.  They purchased the land with the old Beatle house still standing.  They spent many weekends as a family cleaning out the old house before letting the fire department use it for training and burning it down and replacing with their new modular home.  Mike did a lot of the finishing of the family room and basement himself.  He helped the kids build a tree house out back that lasted many years.  As the kids got older Mike would take his boys with him on the road during the summer working a week to 2 weeks at a time in the surrounding states splicing cable.  He taught all his kids about working hard and doing things the right way the first time.  Mike was self-employed and could work any days or hours he chose until the ground froze and cable could no longer be laid for the season.  When he was on the road he worked 7 days a week from sun-up to sun-down as long as the weather permitted.

As his kids grew and left the nest, he was proud of them all.  They all graduated with the two boys joining the US Air Force and Kristy going to Nursing school and then entering the Air Force as an Officer.  As time went by, he and Barb made a sudden move, leaving the town of Greenwood for their current home in Gretna Nebraska.  Dad would retire after over 30 years splicing cable.  They would spend many years enjoying their home where Mike finished the basement with help from Doug Tweton and the yard he and Barb worked on together.  They always felt this home was perfect for them.  They would often sit outside and say how lucky they felt for having their entire family many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  They were also always thankful for the good health they both had up until Mike’s health took a turn for the worst in 2021 and slowly declined.  Mike fought a rare very aggressive cancer yet managed to fight courageously for over a year.  Mike was never one to sit idle and he hated that as his illness progressed it kept him in his chair, that was the worst for him.  When he succumbed to cancer fittingly on Labor Day, it was on his terms, in his home and when he was ready.  He left this world peacefully with a smile on his face.

A poem from Mike’s mother to him found in his baby book:

“You were a baby so cute and dear.  You get bigger and stronger, I ne’er fear.  May God make you happy and healthy, and if God sees you deserving may he make you a little wealthy. But if you have health and a life that is happy and all your needs are fulfilled you need not much more, for you do have wealth.  Be keen, be wise, be religious.  God bless you and be with you always.” ~ Kayr Maytas