Truman Maynard closed the last chapter of a magnificent life on July 3rd, 2020 at 5:44 pm. As an Army officer and business man, Truman served his country, family and community with pride and dignity. He was surrounded by his loving family as he took his last earthly breath and slipped away peacefully. He was preceded in death by his parents, Doyle and Sheila Maynard of Natchitoches, Louisiana. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Martha Middleton Maynard, and their three children Lee Maynard and his wife Jennifer of Annapolis, Maryland, Jon Maynard and his wife Cherie of Oxford, Mississippi, and Patricia DeVilbiss of Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is also survived by 4 grandchildren, Connor Maynard of Starkville, Mississippi, Holly Maynard of Oxford, Mississippi, Haden DeVilbiss and Graham DeVilbiss of Lake Charles. Survivors also include his sisters Suzanne Lanuza of Tucson, Arizona and Christine Maynard of New Orleans.
Truman was a career Army officer who graduated from Northwestern State College in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the United States Army. He promptly married the love of his life, Martha Middleton and departed for his first duty assignment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. His career in the Army included Army fixed wing flight school, where he graduated at the top of his class on the same day that his eldest son, Lee Maynard was born. He quickly departed for a year-long deployment to Viet Nam. Returning home in late 1963, Truman worked in various aviation assignments before being selected for a special operations group that would fly specialized Navy aircraft for Army reconnaissance missions in Vietnam. His second son, Jon Maynard was born in March of 1966, and Truman departed less than one year later to Vietnam with the 1st Radio Research Company flying the specially adapted P-2V Neptune designated the SP-2E.
After completing his second tour in Vietnam, Truman attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was assigned for one year as a student and then remained as an instructor in the department of tactics for another two years. His third child, Patricia, was born in Fort Leavenworth in 1971. After the Command and General Staff College, Truman returned to flight school to learn to fly UH-1 Huey helicopters, He was immediately deployed to Korea from 1973-1974 to utilize his new skill. Assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Casey, he served as both staff officer and company commander flying missions near the DMZ.
Following his deployment to Korea, Truman and his family moved to Orlando, Florida where he was assigned to the US Army Training Device Agency as a project manager on both ground and aviation simulation projects. Most notably, Lieutenant Colonel Maynard was the project manager for the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) that is still in use by the Army today. This system allowed a greater level of combat simulation by using lasers to designate “hits” on the battlefield. The Army awarded LTC Maynard with the Legion of Merit for his work on this system. This was a high honor for which he was very proud. Truman retired from the Army in April of 1980.
Upon retirement from the Army, Truman moved back to his hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana to help his father run the family business. The Don Theatre Company operated mostly single screen movie theaters in central and north Louisiana. Truman helped to consolidate the theater chain down to two towns, Ruston and Natchitoches. In 1984 Truman ushered in the first multi-screen movie theatre complex in Natchitoches, the Parkway Cinema 4.
In 1988, Truman was recruited by former colleagues and offered a job at Xerox Special Information Systems in Pasadena, California. This job presented a new opportunity and challenges that were too much to resist. In 1988 he moved to Los Angeles and began a new career developing special projects for Xerox tied to Department of Defense requirements. This career lasted for over 18 years and offered Truman the opportunity to develop new products and meet new challenges the business world.
Truman retired from Xerox in 2006 and he and Martha moved to Natchitoches where he became very involved with their hometown. Truman helped to establish and grow the Northwestern State University ROTC Demon Regiment Alumni Association. In 2017, he was inducted into the NSU ROTC Hall of Fame.
Truman joined the Kiwanis club and became active in the Walter Ledet Coffee Club. He was active in the Sons of the American Revolution as well as the director for several Natchitoches Christmas Festival parades. Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015, Truman fought a battle with cancer that finally claimed his life on July 3rd, 2020.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the NSU ROTC Demon Regiment:
NSU Demon Regiment
℅ Department of Military Science
Northwestern State University
418 Caspari Street, Bldg. 31
Natchitoches, LA 71497