Paul Dean Maycock, a visionary of the early US Solar Program, husband of sixty-five years, father to five children and seven grandchildren, passed away at Hospice House of Williamsburg on September 26, 2023, at the age of 88.
Paul was born September 2, 1935, to Wilfred and Vivian Beauchene Maycock in Sioux City, Iowa and graduated valedictorian from East High School. A recipient of a full Navy scholarship, he attended Iowa State University, graduating with a B.S. in Physics in 1957. At Iowa Sate, he met his soon to-be-wife and mother of his five children, Roma Walker. Upon receiving his commission as an officer in the U S Navy, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Research in Washington D.C. After fulfilling his 3-year commitment to the Navy in 1960, he returned to Iowa State where he earned the Master of Science degree in Solid State Physics. He then accepted an offer with Texas Instruments (TI) in Dallas, served in a variety of positions and was directly involved in developing over 40 consumer products that TI ultimately produced or licensed. It was during this time in Dallas that he began his service in the United States Naval Reserve.
Returning to Washington, DC in 1975, Mr. Maycock joined the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) which later became The Department of Energy (DOE). At DOE, he was the Director of Photovoltaics and was able to exercise his developing passion for renewable energy with its benefits for the environment and the economy. He grew his starting budget of $7 million to an all-time high of $152 million in 1981. With the change of administration, however, the budget was reduced to less than $53 million and he resigned to form his own company, Photovoltaic Energy Systems (PV Energy Systems), a consulting and information firm. PV Energy Systems counseled clients throughout the world in the field of photovoltaic energy. Paul went on to author over 100 Professional publications and two books most important of which was “Guide to the Photovoltaic Revolution”. He frequently traveled and lectured internationally to countries like Japan and to developing countries. He enjoyed his time serving on the Board of Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) and Solar Light for Africa.
In his retirement, Paul lived in Williamsburg, Virginia at Patriots Colony and enjoyed traveling with Roma to visit friends and family across the globe, especially to the United Kingdom where they lived for a year. He was also a member of the Ruritans International and loved playing poker and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his daughter, Andrea Turner, and his brother Lanny Maycock. He is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, The Rev. Roma Walker Maycock, his children, Robin Maycock, Joel Maycock (Cary), Jennifer Macotto (Eduardo), Seth Maycock, and his brother Jerry Maycock.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Paul’s name to Solar Light for Africa. (https://solarlightforafrica.org/donate-now) Please visit www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net for updates on service details.
“In America, the government’s late 1970’s solar program grew chiefly out of the vision of one man—Paul Maycock.”
THE SILENT WAR, Ira Magaziner & Mark Patinkin, p218.