ForeverMissed
Edward Gordon Mayr, 72, of Bayside, NY, husband of Margaret Mary Mayr, died Monday evening, July 5th, 2021 at home with family at his bedside.  Edward was born the son of Master Chief Charles Mayr, USN and Delores Rance Mayr.  In 1966, he graduated as the first Valedictorian of Christ the King High School in Queens, NY, where he first met his wife Margaret.  He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1967.  Discharged in 1972 as a Sergeant, he began his first of three combat tours in Vietnam at Khe Sanh, serving in the Combined Action Program.  He was awarded two purple hearts and the bronze star with valor during his service.    He returned home completing college at Rutgers University in 18 months and receiving his law degree from Rutgers University Law School. Following a brief stint as a Corrections Officer, he began his legal career in 1977, serving for 40 years as a criminal defense attorney and supervisor first at the Legal Aid Society, serving in both Brooklyn and Queens, followed by several more years with Brooklyn Defender Services. He was first and foremost a teacher and was proud to train many of the city’s finest defense attorneys and in serving those in need.  He retired from law in 2016. Edward and Margaret first met in high school and married in 1976. They moved to Bayside, NY in 1978 to raise their family.  While in Bayside, Edward was a communicant at St. Robert Bellarmine Church.  In retirement, Edward and Margaret moved to Bloomfield, CT and were members of the Church of Saint Timothy.  Edward’s greatest joy was his family.  He is survived by his two children and their families, Jameson Mayr, his children, Connor and Madison, and CDR Karen Grace Zeman, USN, her husband CDR Joseph Zeman, USN, and their children Elizabeth and Catherine.  Edward also leaves his siblings, his brother Larry Mayr, his wife Marion; his sister Loretta Lewis, her husband Harry; and many nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his beloved wife Margaret Mayr one year prior.

Dad's Remembrance will be held at his daughter's home in Bethesda, Maryland on Sunday October 2nd at 1630.  His funeral will be held at Arlington National Cemetery beginning at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel for a Catholic service at 845.  

Events:
Edward Gordon Mayr's Remembrance
October 2nd, 2022 at 1630
9306 Bulls Run Pkwy, Bethesda, MD 20817
Karen Zeman cell 240-743-8132; Jameson Mayr 860- 906-4170
Street Parking available

Edward Gordon Mayr's Funeral:
October 3rd, 2022 at 0845 (required to be 30-45 minutes early for security)
Fort Myer Old Post Chapel for a Catholic service at 845 
Enter Fort Myer via memorial avenue. Gate guards will direct you to parking
and at the administration bldg we will be directed to the designated room. Following the service cars will be directed to the graveside ceremony for Margaret and Edward's inurnment where military funeral honors are rendered.
Immediately followed by Edward and Margaret Mayr's Inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors.

--If you are driving yourself to Arlington please be at Arlington at
0800 (chapel requires everyone be 30-45 minutes early)

--If you are not driving please email karengmayr@gmail.com or text Karen Zeman at 240-743-8132 your hotel information so she can coordinate transportation from your hotel and through the ceremony (We already have two hotels covered so please reach out to me!)

UPDATE FOR BASE ACCESS:  In order to get on base their are two options
1) preregister with the website below or 2) go to the visitor center
which we anticipate taking more time.  Apologize we just got this
information:

The Chapel services at Arlington Cemetery actually take place on Ft.
Myer (an Army base), and not on the Cemetery. To get to the Chapel you
will need to enter Ft. Myer through the Hatfield Gate (29 Carpenter
Road, Fort Myer, VA 22211). Every person needs a Visitor Pass to enter
Ft. Myer. This can be obtained at the Visitor Center (just inside the
Hatfield Gate), or you can apply for one online here:
https://home.army.mil/jbmhh/index.php/my-fort/all-services/access-gate-info.

Encourage everyone to complete the website application for access!
Also of note every time you see someone in military salute as a
civilian you can put your hand over your heart (not a requirement just
protocol for your awareness).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Karen and Jamie

Posted by Karen Zeman on July 30, 2021
Thank you all for these stories and memories of my dad.  Daddy we miss you so much and hope you have finally found some peace.  The girls still ask about you, I hope my stories do you justice and they know you how I did as never quite a mere mortal like the rest of us even in death. Give my love to Moogie and Zeke. Love, Karen
Posted by Marty Gorfinkel on July 14, 2021
When I first started at Legal Aid in 1982, Ed was one of my supervisors. My first impression of Ed was that he was a scary guy. He demanded excellence and devoted himself to training neophyte lawyers. He was brilliant and knew the law better than anyone I’ve ever met. He was incredible in that he was at the Remsen street office often before the building opened, so he xerox cases from the law journal and print them out so we’d have them in our mailboxes before arriving to work at a reasonable hour. Those early morning clippings continued through his years at LAS and Brooklyn Defender Services. After the internet, Ed sent them to everyone. When he joined BDS, he included me on his list serve.

Ed was a unique and totally devoted Supervisor. When I think about all of the lawyers he’s trained, and other supervisors, such as myself, it is unimaginable about all of the hundreds and thousands of lawyers who benefitted from his wisdom and advice. And what about all the thousands of indigent clients accused of crimes in Brooklyn and Queens. He was a bit of a workaholic and I remember vividly when Margaret was in labor with Karen and we had to chase him out of the office so he would be there in time for her birth. Years later when he was working at BDS, I ran into him on Adam’s street. It was a Friday afternoon in the summer. I was coming back from court, taking off my jacket and tie. Ed was coming from the Supreme Court Library complaining how they closed at 4:00 in the summer.

I remember one time when a recalcitrant client refused to plead guilty and receive probation where the evidence was overwhelming. I brought the client back to the office over lunch and Ed met with him. “Listen Sport …..” after that meeting he followed our advice. But as scary and intimidating as Ed’s eyes could be his face face lit up when you asked him about his family. He was so proud of his children ( and I’m sure grandchildren).

I was very sad to hear about Ed’s passing and owe him everything I’ve learned about trying a case and practicing criminal law as a public defender. My condolences to his family.
Posted by Alan Rosenberg on July 14, 2021
So sorry to hear about Ed Mayr’s passing.

Ed was an extremely modest but nevertheless larger than life character, a force of nature who was a giant among us career public defenders and trial lawyers over the past several decades. He was dedicated with a laser focus to defending the rights of our clients above all else. Voraciously knowledgeable about everything in the PL/CPL and every court decision ever. Unsparing and sometimes brutally candid in his (constructive) trial criticism.

I was never directly supervised by Ed but had many trial strategy conversations with him (mostly in Callahan’s) once I got over my fright of even talking to him at all.  Back in the day, when I was trying a lot of cases, I was especially honored to get a raft of nice compliments from Ed after I won a string of drug sale acquittals in a row; his kind words meant as much as the acquittals and I was in defense attorney heaven! Then he continued on to tell me all the little mistakes I made in the last two trials that he had seen parts of—mistakes that I made sure I never made again. I always felt like I came away a better lawyer every single time I spoke to Ed Mayr.

It was then a particular pleasure that Ed came to us at BDS to train all the young lawyers we were hiring when BDS started expanding 10 years ago. It was a brilliant hiring move by Lisa Schreibersdorf. The Trial Wolf (as they called him) taught and challenged and, yes, frightened them some too, but today Ed’s trainees are the core and heart of our Criminal Defense Practice and in his work here Ed made enormous contributions to the magnificent defense organization that BDS has become.

Thanks and RIP, Ed.
Condolences to the entire Mayr family.
Posted by John Youngblood on July 13, 2021
I loved Ed Mayr, a loyal comrade and caring friend. His legal brilliance and teaching skills are being well documented, so I would like to speak to his sense of humor and his humanism. He was rich in both attributes. He loved telling self-deprecating comic stories wherein he was the butt of the joke. He had a pervading sense of the absurd, and the craziness of the public defense function which provided constant fodder for his hilarious insights. We had many a Friday night and Monday morning laugh about life in the legal trenches. His targets were ourselves, the lawyers and the judges, but never the clients. I think he really loved the job.

Being an avid consumer military history (but too chicken to actually participate in military history), I often tried to pump Ed about his experiences and insights. Like most veterans of combat, Ed wasn't talking. I had no idea he had been wounded or received a Bronze Star for valor. The only three things I ever got out of him were: "I'm not for the Marxist-Leninists, I'm for the dirt farmer."; then, a very brief reflection on handling some prisoners, whose lives he saved, by talking down the soldiers that wanted to shoot them, and, finally, the only story of any length he ever told me about Vietnam. Surrounded and besieged at Khe Sanh, the Marines were on short water rations in a sweltering environment. All supplies came in by air. Anti-aircraft fire was very intense. Cargo planes touched down under fire and kept rolling for takeoff as supplies were shoved out the bays. Often, they didn't try to land at all, throwing the stuff off the plane while flying low. On one such occasion, multiple crates of oranges rained down on his position from the sky, bursting on impact, leaving thousands of oranges bouncing and rolling all over the place. Ed laughed all the way narrating the combat slapstick that ensued as the thirsty Marines chased down those oranges. Ed was for the little guy farmer, compassionate to his fellow human beings, the enemy, and always found something to laugh about no matter how dire the circumstances. I just loved the guy.
Posted by Valerie Youngblood on July 13, 2021
I first got to know Ed in 1986 when I was assigned to Complex 3 as one of his assistant supervisors. He was on vacation at the time but asked me to meet him on Saturday at his office. The “orientation” took under two minutes. He sat down, told me to never speak to anyone at Park Row (Legal Aid’s executive office) while I worked for him, and to cut out and disseminate relevant Law Journal cases by 7:00 am each morning until he returned from vacation. That was it! After that rather disarming introduction, I learned firsthand what a brilliant defense attorney he was – a premier strategist, fierce cross examiner, and always deeply concerned about the clients. He was also extremely protective of the lawyers who worked for him. I think he considered them part of his platoon! Even when his lawyers performed less than perfectly, he quickly put their mistakes in the rearview mirror and focused on the future. Under his serious, even gruff, façade, Ed was a compassionate leader and friend. All who knew him will miss him. Condolences to his son and daughter whom he adored.
Posted by Jamie Burke on July 12, 2021
Ed, The Trial Wolf, sat in on one of my trials.  I was more afraid of his critique than the jury verdict. I wanted to make him proud after he sat with me for hours going over trial strategy. After a verdict of not guilty Ed's words to me: You did ok but next time don't be so "effing" nice.  You just had to love him!!
Posted by Mary Beth Anderson on July 12, 2021
Ed left us too young. He was a great lawyer and such a character. When I was at Queens Legal Aid, remember having to handle a particularly tough hearing one Friday, and I arrived at the office a bit before 5 am, running into Ed on his way in. I think I scared the daylights out of him. He was used to having the 5-7 am hours to himself! When we both went to BDS, he gave me tips on the best commuting routes, as he had tried them all. He always sent me the mental health related cases from the Law Journal via “special delivery” (photocopies on my desk), knowing of my interest in the area. He was quite a guy. Peace to his family.
Posted by David Secular on July 12, 2021
I had not seen Ed in probably more than 30 years when we re-united at BDS. He was one of the truly amazing and unique people I have been privileged to meet in my life and career. In addition to all the tributes about his legal and teaching skills, I recall the time he had to work a weekend arraignment with me. It was like working with nobody else, he worked so zealously to get every client in front of a Judge as quickly as possible, nobody could keep up with him. Ed believed any second spent in custody unnecessarily was unconscionable and no effort could be spared in preventing it. Even at this advanced stage of his career, he was as zealous as the day we first met. 

Reuniting and spending time in our corner offices for a few years was high on the list of what made returning to practice in State Court in Brooklyn a decision I will never look back on. He will be sorely missed by all.   
Posted by glenn miller on July 12, 2021
I left Legal Aid in 1991, but my memories of Ed are indelible. I was assigned to AP-3 in Brooklyn when I started in 1984 along with Jesus Marrero. I was green, immature and fearless, so for me, Ed was the perfect supervisor; he always knew exactly how much rope to give me, so that I would learn some hard lessons about being a trial lawyer, but at the same time preventing me from totally screwing up. His Friday afternoon trial simulations were intense, and Ed would not hesitate to act like a drill sergeant to ensure that everyone put their best effort into the sessions. When I was on trial, I would not hesitate to call Ed at all hours of the night (my bad), and it always seemed that he would pick up on the first ring anticipating the call. He never (ever) took credit or even accepted recognition for the successes of those he supervised. 

An anecdote: Early on, on a silly theft case, I convinced the ADA to agree to an ACD on the eve of a scheduled trial. When we appeared the next day before a judge named Koch to begin the trial, Koch, apparently insulted that he had no part in the movement of the case, refused to accept the ACD and instructed the court officer to call for a jury panel. Freaking out, I called Ed (on a pay phone, of course), who promptly headed over to 120 Schermerhorn to deal with the situation. Ed entered the courtroom with that classic stare and approached the bench and simply told Koch that he will be granting the motion for an ACD. Just like that, Judge Koch did not seem that scary anymore. With Ed standing in the back of the courtroom, I moved for an ACD, and there was not a peep from Koch.

I spent many evenings after work in Bayside with Margaret and Ed. They treated me like a son (Okay, kid brother), and I knew I had two people I could confide in, get solid advice from, and of course get a home-cooked meal from even if it was past midnight. Condolences to Jamie and Karen and their families. May your parents' memory be a blessing.




 
Posted by lisa schreibersdorf on July 12, 2021
My first memory of Ed was sometime in 1985 when my own supervisor at Brooklyn Legal Aid was out and Ed was subbing in. I had a client who was turning down an ACD and we were about to go to trial on a misdemeanor case. Ed walked with me in the pouring rain, back to court in the afternoon and calmly discussed the risk of going to trial with the client who decided to accept the ACD. The reason I tell this story is that Ed was not resentful or even bothered that he had to get drenched in rain just to take an ACD. And that is exactly who Ed was.
Many people never knew the softer side of Ed, though. In the 1990’s Ed was working in Queens and I got transferred to Queens Legal Aid in 1994. Even though I hadn’t seen Ed in years, when I arrived at my new office in a new borough, there was a note on my desk from Ed (who had likely been there for hours already) welcoming me and telling me to come see him. After a very hard few months, this is one moment that really stands out in my mind as so heartwarming because it came so unexpectedly from Ed, someone who had such a hard exterior and could be so off-putting sometimes. And that was when I knew the real Ed, a true softy on the inside.
Many years later, decades in fact, I am at Brooklyn Defenders, but I’m helping someone in Queens deal with an out-of-state warrant and extradition. I run into Ed on Queens Boulevard and tell him the story. He proceeds to help me make my legal argument. He tells me there’s no chance I will win, but here’s some strategies. I followed all of his suggestions and actually did get the client released and went on to get the warrant vacated. I called Ed to let him know, because there is no better feeling in the world that telling Ed Mayr you won something he thought you would lose!
Anyway, after that I asked him to come work at Brooklyn Defenders. I took him to lunch and explained that there were new lawyers who needed him to learn how to try cases. And he did. He retired from Legal Aid and came to Brooklyn every day on multiple busses and trains. And the attorneys he trained loved him dearly. They called him the Trial Wolf. And to this day they speak about him and how much they learned from him. When he left, we had to trick him into a good-bye party by doing it first thing in the morning. He still went to court that day at 9:30, just like every other day.
One thing I can say is that there will never be anyone like Ed. And it has been an honor and privilege to know him.
Posted by Alan Gordon on July 9, 2021
I worked with Ed for many years at Legal Aid in Queens. He was a brilliant man with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. When you couldn't find a case through a computer search, you could call Ed, and he would find it. He was a good man to work with and a good man to know. My condolences to his family.
Posted by Kenneth Finkelman on July 8, 2021
Ed Mayr was my supervisor at Legal Aid in Queens for 15 years or more and our offices were next door to each other. Ed was super hard working and super smart. As a supervisor he got to work before 6:00 a.m. every day and copied all the new court decisions and distributed them to all the lawyers at Legal Aid in the hope that they would help us better represent our clients. That was always the number one thing to Ed, helping the clients. 
 And if you ever needed advice on one of your cases, you could count on Ed giving you great advice because no matter how experienced you were Ed was so good as a lawyer that he could help you.
  Ed was one of a kind and I really missed not seeing him when he left.
I know how proud he was of his children and his grandchildren because he frequently talked about them.
   He was also a proud Marine and a proud Legal Aid softball team player.
   I am sorry that Ed died so young and I am going to miss him.
All my best and my sincere condolences.
Ken Finkelman
Posted by Michael Padden on July 8, 2021
I just sent this Email to the chain that I had. Might as well put it here too:

Regards to all. I stopped in on Ed and Margaret a couple of years ago during a trip to NH to visit my own family. They seemed to be enjoying retirement, although Ed was complaining about how boring life in the Connecticut countryside was ("No f'n sidewalks") and talking about moving to Baltimore where his daughter was. I believe that's what he did after Margaret passed, though I haven't heard from him since. On a tour of the house I noticed his old Marine uniform hanging in the basement with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star pinned on it. I knew that he had served a couple of tours in Vietnam, but never heard him mention those medals. I'll be hoisting a bottle of Bud to the crazy old Marine and helluva trial lawyer. Join me! Mike (or "Mikey," as only Ed was allowed to call me).

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Karen Zeman on July 30, 2021
Thank you all for these stories and memories of my dad.  Daddy we miss you so much and hope you have finally found some peace.  The girls still ask about you, I hope my stories do you justice and they know you how I did as never quite a mere mortal like the rest of us even in death. Give my love to Moogie and Zeke. Love, Karen
Posted by Marty Gorfinkel on July 14, 2021
When I first started at Legal Aid in 1982, Ed was one of my supervisors. My first impression of Ed was that he was a scary guy. He demanded excellence and devoted himself to training neophyte lawyers. He was brilliant and knew the law better than anyone I’ve ever met. He was incredible in that he was at the Remsen street office often before the building opened, so he xerox cases from the law journal and print them out so we’d have them in our mailboxes before arriving to work at a reasonable hour. Those early morning clippings continued through his years at LAS and Brooklyn Defender Services. After the internet, Ed sent them to everyone. When he joined BDS, he included me on his list serve.

Ed was a unique and totally devoted Supervisor. When I think about all of the lawyers he’s trained, and other supervisors, such as myself, it is unimaginable about all of the hundreds and thousands of lawyers who benefitted from his wisdom and advice. And what about all the thousands of indigent clients accused of crimes in Brooklyn and Queens. He was a bit of a workaholic and I remember vividly when Margaret was in labor with Karen and we had to chase him out of the office so he would be there in time for her birth. Years later when he was working at BDS, I ran into him on Adam’s street. It was a Friday afternoon in the summer. I was coming back from court, taking off my jacket and tie. Ed was coming from the Supreme Court Library complaining how they closed at 4:00 in the summer.

I remember one time when a recalcitrant client refused to plead guilty and receive probation where the evidence was overwhelming. I brought the client back to the office over lunch and Ed met with him. “Listen Sport …..” after that meeting he followed our advice. But as scary and intimidating as Ed’s eyes could be his face face lit up when you asked him about his family. He was so proud of his children ( and I’m sure grandchildren).

I was very sad to hear about Ed’s passing and owe him everything I’ve learned about trying a case and practicing criminal law as a public defender. My condolences to his family.
Posted by Alan Rosenberg on July 14, 2021
So sorry to hear about Ed Mayr’s passing.

Ed was an extremely modest but nevertheless larger than life character, a force of nature who was a giant among us career public defenders and trial lawyers over the past several decades. He was dedicated with a laser focus to defending the rights of our clients above all else. Voraciously knowledgeable about everything in the PL/CPL and every court decision ever. Unsparing and sometimes brutally candid in his (constructive) trial criticism.

I was never directly supervised by Ed but had many trial strategy conversations with him (mostly in Callahan’s) once I got over my fright of even talking to him at all.  Back in the day, when I was trying a lot of cases, I was especially honored to get a raft of nice compliments from Ed after I won a string of drug sale acquittals in a row; his kind words meant as much as the acquittals and I was in defense attorney heaven! Then he continued on to tell me all the little mistakes I made in the last two trials that he had seen parts of—mistakes that I made sure I never made again. I always felt like I came away a better lawyer every single time I spoke to Ed Mayr.

It was then a particular pleasure that Ed came to us at BDS to train all the young lawyers we were hiring when BDS started expanding 10 years ago. It was a brilliant hiring move by Lisa Schreibersdorf. The Trial Wolf (as they called him) taught and challenged and, yes, frightened them some too, but today Ed’s trainees are the core and heart of our Criminal Defense Practice and in his work here Ed made enormous contributions to the magnificent defense organization that BDS has become.

Thanks and RIP, Ed.
Condolences to the entire Mayr family.
Recent stories
Shared by John Youngblood on July 13, 2021
I loved Ed Mayr, a loyal comrade and caring friend.  His legal brilliance and teaching skills are being well documented, so I would like to speak to his sense of humor and his humanism.  He was rich in both attributes.  He loved telling self-deprecating comic stories wherein he was the butt of the joke.  He had a pervading sense of the absurd, and the craziness of the public defense function which provided constant fodder for his hilarious insights. We had many a Friday night and Monday morning laugh about life in the legal trenches. His targets were ourselves, the lawyers and the judges, but never the clients.  I think he really loved the job.

Being an avid consumer military history (but too chicken to actually participate in military history), I often tried to pump Ed about his experiences and insights.  Like most veterans of combat, Ed wasn't talking.  I had no idea he had been wounded or received a Bronze Star for valor.  The only three things I ever got out of him were:  "I'm not for the Marxist-Leninists,  I'm for the dirt farmer."; then, a very brief reflection on handling some prisoners, whose lives he saved, by talking down the soldiers that wanted to shoot them, and, finally, the only story of any length he ever told me about Vietnam.  Surrounded and besieged at Khe Sanh, the Marines were on short water rations in a sweltering environment.  All supplies came in by air. Anti-aircraft fire was very intense.  Cargo planes touched down under fire and kept rolling for takeoff as supplies were shoved out the bays.  Often, they didn't try to land at all, throwing the stuff off the plane while flying low.  On one such occasion, multiple crates of oranges rained down on his position from the sky, bursting on impact, leaving thousands of oranges bouncing and rolling all over the place.  Ed laughed all the way narrating the combat slapstick that ensued as the thirsty Marines chased down those oranges. Ed was for the little guy farmer, compassionate to his fellow human beings, the enemy, and always found something to laugh about no matter how dire the circumstances.  I just loved the guy.