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Friends, colleagues mourn longtime Davenport community leader Clyde Mayfield

Friends, colleagues mourn longtime Davenport community leader Clyde Mayfield

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A longtime proponent of equity in education and a voice for the Black community in the Quad-Cities will be greatly missed, friends and colleagues say.

Davenport School Board member Clyde R. Mayfield, 68, of Davenport, died Wednesday at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.

Mayfield, who had served previously years before on the school board, was sworn in again as a board member Feb. 23, 2016.

A retired firefighter, Mayfield and his wife, Julie, started the Harrison Street store Greatest Grains to provide natural foods to the community.

Mayfield graduated from Central High School, Davenport. His six children all graduated from Davenport schools.

Linda Hayes served on the Davenport School board with Mayfield.

“He was very quiet and thoughtful, but when he spoke, it was certainly worth hearing,” she said Wednesday evening.

Mayfield was a servant, she said, working with the NAACP, civil rights and in the schools.

“He had leadership skills with young people,” she said. “He was an impeccable mentor.

“He was an absolute jewel. We literally have lost a community servant.”

Larry Roberson, president of the Davenport branch of the NAACP, said: “He was always volunteering. He was always in the schools, talking to the kids.”

"He was a very genuine man and certainly will be missed.

"He had a unique ability to always get to the heart of the matter," said Robert Kobylski, superintendent of Davenport schools. "Whatever the topic was, he always made sure we ended up talking about people, and that speaks to his community orientation."

"I found him to an inspiration," Kobylski said. "I will miss him personally."

The board will approach the vacancy by adhering to board policy, Kobylski said.

In 2017, as a board candidate, Mayfield told the Quad-City Times he came from a non-traditional background that “included growing up with a single parent. This is one of the factors that enhances my understanding of today’s students and their families. Each facing daily struggles, unique to their own situation.”

He was the first college graduate in his family, and that gave him a better understanding as to what is needed to utilize opportunities that are before students, he said.

“I believe the only way to achieve proficiency is to not only involve the community but also, more importantly, involve the parents,” Mayfield said. “Parents must take an active role in the pursuit of their children’s education.

“We know students that are involved in activities outside of the classroom are more successful academically. We need to establish this parenting process before and during intermediate school.”

“It is vital that we look at issues from all different perspectives, all walks of life,” he said. “To understand one another, it takes tolerance, which allows us to voice our opinions and have them be considered. Needs can then be established and progress toward improvement can be made.”

Funeral arrangements are pending at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport.

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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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