Stanley Bryden Mayfield

June 23, 1919 – October 6, 2017

Stanley Bryden Mayfield passed from this earth to a peaceful place on Friday, October 6, 2017 at the age of 98 years.  

He died at his ranch home in Sutton/Edwards counties surrounded by the love, peace and prayers of his family and caring friends.

The only child of Ed C. and Zena Mayfield, both from pioneering families, Stanley was born in San Antonio, TX on June 23, 1919.

From that time until his death, he never knew anything but ranching. He loved life and lived it to the fullest and though he had a lot of interests, none were more important than his family, his livestock and the land it grazed; all were what he lived for.  

In his early years during the drought of the 50’s, Stanley was active in the American Quarter Horse Association. 

His pride and joy being a Quarter horse stallion named, “The Joker” sired by “Lauro” and a King P-234 mare, “Clyde Sis”. Stanley and “The Joker” were no strangers to the show ring having won numerous shows as “Grand Champions”.

Stanley found the land to hold many wonders. In 1960, after exploration, dynamite and hard work, he and a group of Sutton County investors opened the “hole in the ground” west of Sonora to the public…hence, “The Caverns of Sonora”. 

The Caverns have since been named a National Landmark by the U.S. Government and continues in the Mayfield’s family hands today as it is operated by his son, Seco and daughter, Gerry.

In 1964, Stanley met & married Nelda Burk Wilkinson. Soon after, they, along with Nelda’s son, Mark, moved to the Lower Ranch east of Sonora. 

There they have spent over fifty-three years together working and tending the land and livestock as a team with a unified deep belief in the responsibility for land; having been blessed to use, love and improve a tiny piece of God’s creation.  

Stanley was strongly involved in conservation practices in Sutton, Edwards and Hudspeth counties. 

 It would be impossible to recount the number of hours Stanley spent on a dozer fighting cedar bushes, spraying pear and any other way one might find to improve their country.  

In 1989, Stanley was recognized as “Rancher of the Year” by Edwards Plateau S.W.C.D. for his outstanding conservation work.

Stanley’s services in this world were many. He was a past Director of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association helping to promote agricultural production throughout Texas and the United States. 

Stanley also served as an Elder in his Church, The Church of The Good Shepherd, where he later served as a Trustee as well. 

A man who never asked nor wanted recognition, Stanley served mankind in his own quiet, generous way to the benefit of his family, extended family, friends and those in need both locally and worldwide through his missionary trips to Costa Rica.

If at all possible, I guess one could sum up Stanley’s life as “He loved a fine horse, a good ole’ dog, an airplane to spread his wings and fly, a nice cruise to explore the oceans, planning his next hunting or fishing trip (sometimes to places he might not should have gone), telling tales of old, listening to a good ole’ Country Song to whistle and tap his fingers and toes to and serving His Lord in so many ways.” One things for certain, he and his “secret peach cobbler recipe” (which he will certainly take to the grave with him) will be sorely missed but comfort can be found in knowing The Lord will be taking the reins as he rides away.

Stanley is survived by his wife, Nelda J. Mayfield; son, Stanley (Seco) Mayfield; daughter, Gerry Ingham Mayfield; step-son, Mark Wilkinson and wife, JoAnn; Grandchildren Ben Ingham and wife, Sherry, Louise Moore, Ed C. Mayfield and wife, Shalayne, Angela Humphreys, Cara Mayfield, Bryden Blaine Wilkinson and 11 Great Grandchildren.

The family wishes to thank the Doctors along with their medical staff who treated Stanley with such compassionate and patient kindness, Lynn Burchell, RN, of Alvis F. Johnson Hospice as well as numerous dear friends (a list too great to name for we fear we would surely miss someone) for their care, steadfast support and ongoing prayers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials may be made to the Heifer International Project, The Church of the Good Shepherd, PO Box 1015, Sonora, TX 76950 or any other Charity of your choice.

Under the direction of Love Funeral Home, funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 9, 2017 at the Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd officiated by Lewis Allen, Minister, with Carl Teaff, Dod James, Lee Bloodworth, Wren Howard, Dayton Armke, and Billie Martin serving as Pallbearers. Burial to follow at the Sonora Cemetery.


“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”  
 - Philippians 4:7

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