Phyllis "Miller" Mayes

May 19, 1944April 27, 2021

Phyllis “Miller” Mayes was born in Gaffney, SC on May 19, 1944 and entered into rest April 27, 2021. She received a BA in Education with a minor in Psychology from Furman University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Western Carolina University. She was a certified instructor in yoga, trager and obtained her pilot’s license after college. She was not one to be bound by the expected or “the norm.” She lived life passionately, intentionally and purposefully.

She began her career as a teacher and counselor including a year spent in Barranquilla, Colombia, South America. Then served as director of Upward Bound at Western Carolina University. In 1975 she began her endeavor into State Government where she progressed from entry level to the Director of the SC office of Human Resources and then to Assistant Director of the SC Budget and Control Board retiring in 1994. Miller was the most interesting and “interested” person you could ever hope to know. She loved life, loved to travel and opening her horizons and expanding her world. She was a true champion of people. She had an amazing gift for making everyone feel important and heard. A hug from Miller was a gift and heartfelt. If you knew her, these words will resonate….”Tell me about you...” She was a devoted daughter, sister, friend and aunt. She was dearly loved. Because she was here, many people were touched, changed and immensely loved.

She was predeceased by her dear parents, Lillian Mays Miller and Boyce Miller Jr; and her sister Katie Miller Loftis. She is survived by her sister, Mary Miller Robbins; four nieces and nephews, Stacey Aiken Garrison (Brian), Brian Miller Aiken, Kelly Loftis Lehew (Chad), Sean Loftis; 4 great nieces Olivia Garrison, Courtney Lehew, Chloe Garrison, and Sydney Lehew, Bob Loftis; as well as many cousins and dear friends.

A graveside service honoring her life will be held May 8th, 2021 at 10 am at Springwood Cemetery, 410 N Main St, Greenville, SC 29601.


  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, May 8, 2021


Phyllis "Miller" Mayes

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Groover

May 7, 2021

Mary Lillian, my heart goes out to you & Stacy. To Sammy, I always felt like Phyllis was the sister he never had. She was so sweet, considerate, beautiful smile, and always so genuinely interested in you as a person. I so regret having lost touch with her over the past 20 years.

I am at a loss for words of comfort for there are none. Only time can lessen the grief somewhat. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Samuel Thomason

May 6, 2021

Phyllis "Miller" Mayes
May 19, 1944 – April 27, 2021

Samuel Boyce Thomason May 6, 2021

I write these words with teary eyes and a broken heart. Phyllis and I were first cousins, and not far apart in age. I knew her first when we were very young. One of my favorite pictures is of the two of us fighting over possession of an unfortunate cat. Phyllis had one end and I had the other, as we each tried to take the cat. I don’t remember who won. Why the cat did not rip both of us apart, I will never understand.
During our early years we saw each other mostly at Christmas and other family gatherings. But as we grew into our “teens” and later, our paths crossed more frequently. I was in school in Columbia, and Phyllis was also living there. I made many week-end trips to Greenville, and Phyllis often rode with me, so she could visit her parents. Those rides gave us a lot of time to get to know each other, and to share our joys and sorrows. That togetherness built an everlasting bond between us.
Even now, I can hear her say, as she always did when we had not seen each other for a while: “Come here! I want a hug , and not an A-frame hug. I want a real hug!”
I miss her already, and so deeply regret that I did not spend more time with her in our later years.


April 30, 2021

I have extraordinary visual memories and moments of days gone by with Miller. Oh, those happy times with kindred spirits, earthly travels to wonder, wonderlands; the best of the best times! When I think of Miller, I see Miller as I remember her; A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE. She was my friend and mentor and I loved her. I will always feel those spontaneous arms around me with the biggest Miller hugs she could produce. My hat is off to a lovely, generous lady who I am so lucky to have known in my lifetime.