WHEREAS, Marshall Trammel Mays departed this life on March 12, 2013, at the age of 88, we, the members of the Columbia Rotary Club, desire to honor his memory with the following recognition of his life and influence among us:

Marshall Trammel Mays was born July 21, 1924, in Greenwood, South Carolina, a son of Mae Marshall Trammel and Calhoun Allen Mays. He attended Greenwood schools and enrolled in The Citadel for one year before receiving an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, from which he was graduated in 1945. During World War II he served briefly in the Pacific theatre and later in the Atlantic aboard the aircraft carrier USS Randolph.

In 1947 he entered the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the South Carolina Law Quarterly, and spent an additional year of study at Harvard Law School before joining the firm of Mays and Featherstone in Greenwood. He became active in local political and civic affairs and was elected to the General Assembly from Greenwood County in 1958.

He was recalled to active naval service during the Korean Conflict and was stationed at the Headquarters of the Sixth Fleet in Naples, Italy. He was transferred to Frankfurt, Germany, with the European Command Headquarters as a JAG officer and later to Paris. Since he had used all of his leave, he sent for Brooksie and they were married in Germany in 1953. In late 1954 he returned to Greenwood to practice law with the firm of Mays and Mays.

Marshall began to chafe under the one-party political rule extant in South Carolina at the time and began to work with like minded people from all over the state to push for a political alternative to one-party government. In 1966 the Republican Party put forth its first slate of candidates which they called the “Quality Team,” and Marshall Mays was their nominee for Lieutenant Governor. There were two U. S. Senate seats up for election that year and it was widely believed Senator Thurmond’s presence on the ticket would give it a boost. Although only Senator Thurmond was elected, the “Quality Team” fared much better than pundits expected and the modern-day Republican Party in South Carolina was here to stay.

In 1969 President Richard Nixon appointed Marshall general counsel to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an agency of the U. S. State Department to assist 92 developing countries friendly to the United States. He became president of this agency, and after eight years of government service, joined the Washington law firm of Hogan and Hartson and later went into private business.

Marshall was a passionate intellectual who could identify trends on a global basis. One of the most important in his opinion was world population growth, and using worldwide contacts established decades earlier, travelled to India and spoke to a number of Rotary Clubs about the dire need to control the world’s population explosion, all at his own expense and on his own time.

Marshall was a member of Trinity Cathedral in Columbia and had been a member of the vestry of Episcopal Churches in Greenwood, SC, and Alexandria, VA; the Rotary Clubs of Greenwood, Washington, DC, and Columbia; the Potomac Society; the Metropolitan Club; the Army-Navy Country Club, the Palmetto Club; the Cotillion Club of Columbia; the Columbia Sailing Club; and he was a guardian of the University of South Carolina. Governor James B. Edwards bestowed on him The Order of the Palmetto.

He retired with his family to Columbia where he continued to be engaged in charitable and civic activities. He joined the Columbia Rotary Club in 2001 with 28 years of previous service and was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He kept up his Rotary attendance until the last few years when he and Brooksie moved to Still Hopes as he began experiencing declining health and was not been able to be with us on a regular basis.

He was survived by his wife, the former Jane Brooks Marshall of Columbia, to whom he was married for almost 60 years; three sons: Marshall Trammell Mays, Jr., of Hong Kong and an active Rotarian; Patrick Calhoun Mays of Davidson, NC; and the Rev. Foster Marshall Mays of Sedan, Kansas; his brother, Calhoun A. Mays, Jr., of Greenwood; and five grandchildren.

The strong intellect, pioneer spirit and dedicated service of this remarkable man who was our friend have enhanced the lives of everyone who knew him and we are grateful to his family for sharing him with us.


  1. That we, the members of the Columbia Rotary Club, do hereby pay honor this day to the memory of our fellow Rotarian and friend, Marshall Trammell Mays, whose life made this city, state and nation a better place through his service in the highest ideals of Rotary and of his profession; and
  1. That we again express to his family and friends our deepest sympathy in their loss; and
  1. That copies of this resolution be sent to his widow and children with the original being filed as a permanent part of our club records.