Carl L. Brazell
January 16, 1934 – March 7, 2021
COLUMBIA - Carl L. Brazell, fondly known as “Batman” to his ever-growing family and dearest friends, peacefully passed away on Sunday, March 7, 2021. He truly lived up to his superhero status among the close-knit Columbia, S.C. community he so lovingly helped create and nurture.
Born in 1934 and the second of 5 sons to the late LeRoy “Bud” and Hattie Brown, Carl’s God-given qualities of leadership and athleticism quickly became realized. At Dreher High School, not only was Carl class President four years running, he simultaneously achieved All-State in football, baseball and basketball.
But Columbia’s born and bred teenage prodigy was only just getting started. Carl proudly headed to the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Marketing. As co-captain of both the USC baseball and football teams, Carl received honorable mention for All-Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball and All-American football while also representing USC in the prestigious North-South Shrine Game after his senior season.
Carl’s most noteworthy on-field achievement was setting USC’s career record for rushing yards per attempt - averaging 5.7 yards per carry – and it remains in place to this very day. Given his accomplishments at USC both as a student-athlete and later as Director of the Alumni Association, Carl was deeply honored to receive the Captain’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the USC Athletics 2019 Hall of Fame ceremony!
During that memorable evening, a story was shared about how Carl received an unexpected letter in 1979 from Clemson’s legendary head coach Frank Howard that said in part “You might not know it, but you caused me to change from a single wing to the T formation. I believe it was 1952 and you gained a good bit against us that day. I thought if a little fella like you could do that then I must be using the wrong formation”.
This letter from the esteemed coach of USC’s biggest rival perfectly captures the special nature of Carl Brazell. He was a humble man that other respected community leaders often looked up to and imitated.
He was a man of action and vision with a list of professional and personal accomplishments too prolific to fully encapsulate but worth remembering always. Of note, he served as Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Pepsi Cola Bottling Company; Chairman, President, and CEO of First Palmetto State Bank and Trust Company; Vice Chairman, Southern National Bank of South Carolina; President, General Partner and Principal, Southern Insurance Group; Chairman and founding member, Capital City Club; Chairman of the Highway Commission representing the 5th Judicial District; President of the S.C. Association of Independent Banks; Director, South Carolina Bankers Association; Member; Board of Directors, S. C. Department of Health and Environmental Control; Member, Board of Directors, Richland Memorial Hospital; Commissioner, Richland County Airport Commission; Captain U. S. Air Force; proud member of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, Spring Valley Country Club, Kiwanis Club, and the Columbia Sail Club; United States representative in numerous international J Boat Races.
Alongside this record of accomplishments and his lifelong passion for golf, handball and sailing, Carl Brazell always found time to put his loving family first. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Robyn Clem Brazell; daughters, Christy Brazell Lineback (Brad) of Conway, Sophia Floyd Derrick (Lynn) of Columbia, Susan Stuart Brazell (Rob Kaplan) of Los Angeles, CA; son, Michael Merritt Brazell of Burbank, CA; grandchildren, Whit Floyd (Maxine), Jordan Floyd (Dori), Hunter Lineback, Keenan Lineback, Sidney Jo Brazell, Parker Kay Brazell, Asher Kaplan, Xander Kaplan; great-grandchildren, Will Floyd and Roey Floyd.
A private family celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Dunbar Funeral Home, Northeast Chapel, is assisting the family.
Memorials can be made to The Epworth Children’s Home or The Humane Society.
Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Carl L. Brazell
March 14, 2021
To the entire Brazell Family, Irene and I would like to express our sincere heartfelt condolences upon hearing about Carl passing away.
I have so many fond memories of Carl over our many years of friendship. We always had fun together, especially on the handball court. How many thousands of games we played I can’t say . We won a few State Doubles Championships along the way .
Carl touched so many lives in such a positive way , and he always had something nice to say and words of encouragement .
Carl will never be forgotten, his memory will live forever. May he Rest In Peace. Sincerely and with love, Harold and Irene
Fletcher Spigner III
March 12, 2021
I am so very sorry. Carl was a hero of mine growing up. I was President of all my classes at Dreher as well, in addition to being President of the Student Body, like my uncle, Dreher's first President. I played at Carolina, too.
Dreher.... that is where he began a glorious career in football, his professional pursuits and life. He inspired me.
Fletcher Spigner III