Gwendolyn Lee Olson Mayo, founder of Mayo Aviation, a Part 135 charter operator and 36-year partner with Flight for Life Colorado, in Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado, passed away Nov. 20.
A pioneer of the charter aviation industry, Mayo held a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, and was also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Vassar College.
Mayo was inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame; served as the first female chairperson of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA); and received NATA’s William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award and the National Business Aviation Association’s Silk Scarf Award.
According to those who knew her, Mayo applied her academic thought process to every situation presented to her, attacking problems in a procedural and detail-oriented manner but she excelled in more than academics and aviation.
She was also a talented seamstress and embroiderer. She made her own clothing and some of her embroidery is displayed in the Denver Museum of Natural History.
Mayo is survived by her sons, David Graham Mayo II and William “Bill” James Mayo III.
“Gwen gave Mayo Aviation a solid foundation on which to grow,” said Bill Mayo III. “Until the end, her dedication to the company continued and she was very proud of our team and its many successes. We will strive to continue her legacy of personal excellence and industry leadership.”