John Edward Maurer

John Edward Maurer, a long-time Laramie resident, UW Chemistry Professor, and WWII Veteran, peacefully went to be with his Lord on Friday, June 10, 2022, at the age of 99.

John was born April 3, 1923, to Casper E. Maurer and Alvera (Carlson) Maurer in Matherville, Illinois.  Unbeknownst to him at the time, he first met his future wife, Gladys, at a very young age with their parents, who were friends.

In 1942, while John was attending Augustana College and Gladys was attending Moline Lutheran Nursing School, both in Illinois, John’s fraternity had a dance.  Alvera, John’s mother, asked John if he was going to the dance and when he said no, she told him he should ask Gladys.  He asked Gladys to the dance.  She said yes and they began dating.

In 1944, during WWII, he and Gladys kept in contact while he joined the Navy.  He served as an Electronic Technician’s Mate for the Navy in Saipan.  His job was to send counter propaganda via radio to Japanese forces, much like ‘Tokyo Rose’ sent to the U.S. 

After he returned stateside on June 9, 1946, he and Gladys were married November 26th in Port Byron, Illinois.  He continued his education by receiving his B.A. in 1947 at Augustana College, his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Iowa (1950) and his post doctorate at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (1952).  He worked as a Chemist at the Rock Island Arsenal before beginning his long career as a Professor and Assistant/Head of the Chemistry Department at the University of Wyoming, retiring in 1988.

While at the University of Wyoming, he taught a Chemistry/Physics institute each summer which allowed high school science teachers to receive their master’s degree in 3 summers.  John and Gladys stayed friends with most of those teachers forever.  John especially enjoyed those friends that fished, as fishing and gardening were both a passion for John. 

A passion John and Gladys shared was square dancing.  They were members of square dance clubs all throughout the region and their weekends were all about square dancing and the amazing lifelong friends they came to know.

John is preceded in death by his parents and an infant son, David Maurer. 

He is survived by his wife of 75 ½ years, Gladys (Barman) Maurer. His Children: John E. Maurer II and Marianne Maurer (Pennsylvania), Bruce Maurer and Leslie Herda (Arizona), Mardell Aragon and Dominic Aragon (Laramie), Diane Heien and Gordon Heien (Laramie).

He is survived by his grandchildren: Matthew Maurer, Kelly and Phil Payne, Kimberly and Brinton Motto (all of Pennsylvania), David and Vicky Maurer (Arizona), Megan Maurer (Arizona), Shelley and Brent Cooper (Texas), Tracy and Denis Hilton (Laramie), Brian and Shalley Aragon (Cheyenne), Cody Heien (South Dakota), Jeremy and Sapphire Heien (Utah), Kyra Heien (Laramie). 

He is also survived by his great-grandchildren: Kolton Payne (Pennsylvania), Ian Maurer (Arizona), Alexis Phillips (Arizona), Dominique Cooper (Texas), Erron Hilton (Laramie), Avery Hilton (Laramie), Tayvin Aragon (Cheyenne), Chase Aragon (Cheyenne).

A memorial service and celebration of life will be June 28, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pastor Nathan Keith officiating. Donations may be made in John Maurer’s name to Trinity Lutheran Church. 

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Condolences (15)

  • Anonymous

    I was sad to recently learn of the passing of my first College Chemistry Professor! I remember his lectures and used some of his methods and sayings when I taught High School Chemistry! He certainly was the last of the great Chemistry Professors at the University of Wyoming. I saw him at the Lutheran church many times and I was in Boy Scouts with his son, Bruce! He was always polite and caring as a teacher and it was a joy to learn in his class. That was in 1973!

  • Barb Hureitz

    Dear Mauer family. It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of John. I had the good fortune to have him as my chemistry professor at UW. He was an outstanding educator and a very special person. So sorry for your loss.

  • Sara McDowell

    I am sorry for the loss of John. He was such a joy to care for and I looked forward to seeing him and Gladys every chance I got. He is missed by everyone who knew him.

  • Deb Formento

    To the Maurer family; I was sorry to see the loss John. He taught my chemistry course in college and personally proctored my exams in a quiet room so I could suceed. He inspired and cared--what better legacy could there be. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • Mardell Aragon

      Deb, Thank you for your kind remembrances of my dad and your sweet words. Thank you so much for taking the time to share! Peace and happiness, Mardell

    • Mardell Aragon

      Deb, Thank you for your kind remembrances of my dad and your sweet words. I appreciate you taking the time to share! Peace and happiness, Mardell

  • Linda Kolp Reinhold

    Mardell and family, I was very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. I know how hard it is to lose a parent. Praying for you and family.

  • Linda K Reinhold

    Mardell and family, I was so sorry to hear of your dad's passing! I know how hard it is to lose your parent. Treasure this time with your mother! I had Dr. Maurer as my Organic Chemistry instructor. The ONLY final I studied all night for. Dad said he always directed his students to your dad as he was the best Chemistry instructor! Praying for you all.

    • Anonymous

      Linda, Thank you so much - how sweet of you. Also , 'Hi' to your brother. My email is [email protected]. We are having a class reunion in about a week and a half. Would love to have you both come. I can give you more info as we inviting all classes from LHS and Prep.

  • John F Harrison

    My condolences and regards to the Maurer. Dr. Maurer was my freshman chemistry instructor at UW in 1969. I was a newly returned Vietnam veteran, and I was having a bit of trouble in life, and a lot of trouble with chemistry. I went to visit with him during office hours and talked of dropping the class. He told me to keep working and as long as I continued to improve, I would pass the course. He also told me that if I worked hard, studied, and did the homework that one day the chemistry light would turn on in my brain. About midway through the second semester the light turned on, and from then on it was easy. I graduated in 1963 in Medical Technology and Microbiology. I have him to thank for my university education.

  • Ann Willey

    To the Maurer family I was sorry Gladys to learn of your husband's passing, and to the other family members (Bruce) your father. No matter the age it's still hard losing a loved one. Hold him in your heart and remember all the memories and good times. May you be comforted at this time knowing you have friends and loved ones sharing your heart ache. My sympathy and condolences at this time.

  • Kellie Southards

    Mardell - so sorry to hear about your father. You are in my prapyers.

  • Pat Miles

    Mardell, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. The heart aches of losing of a parent is most heart breaking, especially when you think they'll be there. Hold him your heart, he will live forever. My sympathy and condolences to you.

  • Terri Hull Jones

    Mardell and Dom Aragon I am very sorry to learn of your father's passing. Remember all of your dear friends share in your burden, may God bless each and every loved one.


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