Doris and Bob Mayfield: The Love and Legacy of a Lifetime

Doris and Bob Mayfield were the epitome of the ’50s power couple. Fun-loving and well-traveled, they trekked all over the United States and visited exotic places around the world, thanks to Bob’s job as an engineer.

Doris grew up in Kansas, where she lived through the Great Depression. She earned a degree in mathematics from Washburn University. Bob graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an engineering degree.

Doris and Bob met “over a fence” when she lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They instantly took to one another, and Bob proposed to Doris over the phone soon after they met when he returned home to Virginia. They married in 1957 in Alexandria, Virginia, and settled in Tulsa when Bob accepted a position at Fenix and Scisson Engineering. Ultimately becoming Vice President, his job took them to countries like Argentina, South Africa and France. Their love of traveling would become one of their greatest pleasures. The couple also loved to play golf and became members of a local club, where Doris would volunteer during PGA golf tournaments.

Then, in 1970, their lives took a dramatic turn. Bob started to have trouble breathing. As his difficulty breathing became more frequent, he sought treatment.

Bob was diagnosed with a genetic form of emphysema known as alpha one antitrypsin deficiency. Realizing they needed advanced care, Doris and Bob traveled to City of Hope in California in search of answers and leading-edge care — and they found them.

Bob underwent treatment at City of Hope for the next five years. Doris felt the care he received at City of Hope helped extend Bob’s life. They were grateful to take one last ocean cruise around the world before his health began to decline. Bob lost his battle with emphysema, leaving Doris a widow in her early 50s. They were married for over 25 happy years.

In memory of Bob, Doris decided to include a gift in her trust to City of Hope. The gift is designated to help support City of Hope’s research and treatment of lung diseases.

Doris and Bob never had children, though both their siblings’ children were very special to them. The families would gather at their house and Doris would bring out the puzzle basket for fun and to challenge young minds. That’s everyone’s fondest memory — her basket of puzzles.

Doris’ niece, Patty Dykhouse, and nephew, Jim Townsend, say their Aunt Doris was a kind and generous person who believed in giving back to others. “Aunt Doris chose to leave a legacy gift to City of Hope to help find a cure for people with life-threatening lung diseases like Uncle Bob.”

Doris passed away in 2022 — 91 years young. Patty and Jim toured City of Hope that September and are happy that Doris and Bob’s legacy will live on through their generous gift.

When I think of Aunt Doris, I think of an adventurer and lifelong learner. I want to be like her. At the age of 85, she went on horseback to see monarch butterflies in Mexico!” says Patty.

To learn more about ways to support City of Hope through a gift in your will or living trust, or by naming City of Hope a beneficiary of your retirement plan or other financial account, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 800-232-3314 or