Michael Mayhugh of Des Moines


Michael Mayhugh, 58, of Des Moines and formerly of Perry was born Nov. 25, 1957. He passed away Friday, Jan. 15, 2016.

Mike attended Central Dallas High School in Minburn and Perry High School in Perry.

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the mid-1970s.

Mike is survived by his siblings, Tanya (John) Harre of Des Moines, Paul (Leslie) Mayhugh of Adel, Jeff (Stacy) Mayhugh of Boulder, Colo., and Abby (Ron) Benifiel of Perry; nieces; nephews; extended family members; and many friends.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Maria Seifert and Eldridge “Ben” Mayhugh.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20 at Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 3601 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines.

Condolences may be expressed at www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com.


  1. Mike Mayhugh was one of the first friends I made when my family moved here from Wisconsin, via Des Moines, in 1971. We were neighbors by rural standards in those days. Mike and his family lived next to the old four corner intersection of Highways 169 and 141, and we Ohrtmans lived in an old farm house just beneath the dust of Lake Robbins Road.
    Mike and I were about the same age, rode the same school bus and were looking for pretty much the same kind of trouble, so we seemed destined to team up as co-conspirators in hot pursuit of a clue. Mike wouldn’t say it like that though. He was always so serious about his self-image as some sort of version of Shaft, Superman and James Dean all rolled up in a giant doobie. There was a ferocious self-confidence about Mike that led people to believe that he was much older than his true age. He was a 14-year-old kid when I first met him, but he had the swagger and nerve of a man twice his age.
    The Mayhugh family lived right at the back gate of the most hoppin’ spot in all of Dallas County: the Four Corners. If you lived here back then, you probably drove through there at least twice a day. There were two truck-stop gas stations, a small plant nursery and greenhouse, the Red Carpet Motel and the Rib Restaurant/Flame Lounge. Everyone from everywhere passed by there every day, and the commerce that flowed through that little business community would be the envy of any small town in Iowa today.
    Whether you had to stop for gas, grab a bite, get some sleep or just enjoy a cold one (or two) with friends on your way home from work, everybody for miles around was a regular there. And Mike Mayhugh lived right there, in the center of (what seemed to me like) the known universe. I think Mike truly believed that he ran that show. He knew everybody that worked around there and pretty much everything that went on. He helped me get a job at the Rib washing dishes with him, and he introduced me to people who have extended a lifetime of friendship to me. It’s where I met, among others, Mike Caufield and Steve Price. I came to know the John Gibson family and Mike Mayhugh’s own family. And there will forever be a special place in my heart for John and Evelyn Gibson and Mikes’ own saintly mother, Maria.
    When I remember those times, it seems like I spent almost an entire lifetime hanging out with Mike, but it was really the blink of an eye. Within the next two years, Mike would transition to another school, other friends, out of his parents’ home and pretty much out of my life. He would drift back in and out of my life a few more times as the years went on, but those times never went well, and I don’t want to think about them or tell those stories today.
    I’ll always associate Mikes’ memory with a very popular band from those days, Creedence Clearwater Revival. You used to hear them everywhere you went those days on nearly any radio station you tuned in. Mike and I went to see them live at Vet’s Auditorium, and like Mike they gave me a lifetime of memories. But also like Mike, they were gone in a heartbeat. Many people don’t realize that in spite of all those songs, CCR was only together for about two years. John Fogerty’s brother, Tom, left the band in 1972, and by 1973 they were no more, forever. Roughly the same timeframe I spent with Mike.
    Mike Mayhugh called me on the phone a few months ago out of the blue. It was the first time in years that I had heard from him. He told me that he was leaving and that I would not hear from him again. I thought he was talking about death but didn’t ask any questions because I couldn’t be sure and didn’t want to take the bait in case it was some b.s. story and didn’t want to become entrapped in whatever drama he was peddling like so many times before. It makes me a little sad today that I did not reach out to my old friend one more time. I wish I would have said something, maybe something like, “Don’t go walkin’ slow. The devil’s on the loose. Better run through the jungle. Run through the jungle. Run through the jungle, and don’t look back.”


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