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William Alexander Mayfield

William Alexander Mayfield
  • April 15, 1929 - November 4, 2019
  • Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
  • Beaufort County Open Land Trust
    P.O. Box 75
    Beaufort, SC 29901
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
  • Central Colorado Conservancy
    P.O. Box 942
    Salida, CO 81201

Pause Best of Times by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Memories & Candles

“Oh my, Susan, your Dad was truly a remarkable man. ”
1 of 3 | Posted by: Lynn Anglin - Erie, CO

“Susan, what a remarkable man. Please know I am sending you much love right now. ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Marie Colton Woodard Woodard - NC

“A life well-lived! What a legacy! Sending you all my condolences ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Rachel Rion Moran - NC


William Alexander Mayfield, 90, of Mt. Pleasant, SC, entered into eternal rest on November 4, 2019. His family will hold a celebration of his life at a later date.

Bill was born in Greer, SC, April 15th, 1929, son of Lillian Ballenger Mayfield and Thomas Murray Mayfield. He grew up in Greenville, SC, and attended the Citadel until the illness and death of his mother required he return home. He studied at Wofford College, and spent a year at Furman University where he met his wife of 64 years, Eleanor Ruth Patton. Following the path of his father and older brother Tommy, he joined the Army and served as an artillery officer at Fort Bliss, Texas, where in 1952 Eleanor arrived by train for their wedding. When the Korean War ended before his deployment, the couple moved back to the Carolinas to raise a family, and Bill worked for his fatherʼs company, TM Mayfield Insurance Agency as an adjuster. Hurricane Gracie brought Bill and Eleanor to the South Carolina coast, and in 1963 they moved to Mt. Pleasant into Hobcaw subdivision on the Wando River with their three young children where they lived for 50 years. Bill later received his CPA and became manager of the Sadler Insurance Agency, and was co-owner of Mayfield and Taylor Insurance Agency in Charleston when he retired.

In 1993 Bill began a new endeavor that surprised his family and friends. He rented a space on Market Street (later moving to Broad Street), and opened the Wells Gallery, one of the first fine art galleries in Charleston. He recruited his artist daughter Susan and several of her art friends to exhibit at the Wells, including John Doyle, Betty Anglin Smith, Mickey Williams, and Rhett Thurman. His success during the 90ʼs helped launch and pave the way for the art destination Charleston would become, and Bill recalled his years in the art world as the most fulfilling and fun chapter of his working life. Later he opened 106 Patton Gallery in Asheville, the Mayfield Gallery in Ponte Vedra, Florida, and received his real estate licenses in both North Carolina and Florida.

Bill was an inadvertent trend-setter, a tireless entrepreneur, an eternal optimist with a curious mind, and a restless spirit with diverse interests who immersed himself passionately in many ventures. He hitchhiked out West at age 16 and worked for a summer at the Hanford nuclear power plant in Washington state. He loved good hot dog chili, and in the early 1970ʼs opened up a food truck near Park Circle called "The Devilʼs Kitchen" that only served hot dogs and employed his chagrinned teenage children. In 2002 Bill leased a blueberry farm on Johnʼs Island, received organic certification, and sold blueberries at the farmerʼs market in Marion Square, employing his grandchildren who learned a valuable lesson about farming being hard work and not for everyone. He loved classical music and ballet, and he served as Chairman of the Board for Charleston Civic Ballet in the 1960ʼs, taking his young daughter to performances at the Gaillard, always stopping by the Goodie House afterwards for chocolate icebox pie.

Billʼs life was upended in November of 2012 with the sudden illnesses and deaths of his two sons, Glenn and Wells, three weeks apart. Eleanor was diagnosed with Alzheimers during this same time, and Bill took care of her at home for most of her illness until her death in 2016. He dealt with these tragedies with resilience, compassion, and acceptance, somehow maintaining his wry sense of humor throughout. In his last years, his life was a quiet routine of reading a book a day on his Kindle, playing online bridge every evening with his childhood friend Dr. Wallace Harper, and having a glass or two of Scotch at exactly 4c00PM sharp with classical music always playing in the background. He loved Clemson football, plaid short-sleeve shirts, singing Frank Sinatra songs loudly in the shower, and looking at the view of marsh and creeks behind his house. He was an avid golfer all of his adult life, until his later years, until his son-in-law Lee convinced him to get back out on the course. They played together until 2018, when Bill missed "shooting his age" by just one stroke.

Bill was beloved by many, and is already greatly missed. He is survived by his daughter Susan Mayfield Hunnicutt, and her husband Lee, of Salida, CO and Beaufort, SC, grandchildren Joseph Raleigh West, III and wife Hall, of Columbia, SC, Scott Patton West of Columbia, SC, Dr. Caroline West Laggis and husband David, of Salt Lake City, UT, and William Alexander Mayfield of Gainesville, FL., and three great grandchildren, his brother Edward (Ebby) Wells Mayfield and wife Pat of Winston Salem, NC, and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Eleanor Patton Mayfield, and his two sons, William Glenn Mayfield, and Wells Thomas Mayfield, and his brother Thomas (Tommy) Mayfield.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Beaufort County Open Land Trust, PO Box 75, Beaufort, SC, 29901, openlandtrust.org , or to Central Colorado
Conservancy, PO Box 942, Salida, CO 81201, centralcoloradoconservancy.org.