Augusta Mayor Willie Mays, III dies

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Augusta Mayor Willie Mays, III, dies

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Mayor Willie Mays, III, a local mortician and businessman who served on the commission as well has died.

Mays, who is described as a trailblazer and titan in Augusta by Mayor Hardie Davis, died Sunday morning.

In 1979, Willie Mays, III became the second youngest person ever elected to serve on the Augusta City Council at the age of 28.

He was re-elected to the position for consecutive terms.

He is the son of the late William H. Mays II and Carrie J. Mays, the first woman to serve on the Augusta City Council.

Willie Mays, III is a graduate of T.W. Josey High School attended Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science and Augusta College.

He has served as the youngest president and chairman of the board of the State Funeral Directors Association, a board member of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, the Eighth District chairman of GFSPA and a member of Epsilon Nu Delta Mortuary Fraternity.

Willie Mays, III was also elected “Mortician of the Year” by the Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners Association, Incorporated.

In Augusta, the Richmond County Public Defender’s office, which is the old downtown library, was named in his honor.

In 2019, a portrait of Willie Mays, III was commissioned to hang inside the building.

In a press release, Mayor Davis said the following:

“It is with a heavy heart and tremendous sadness that we have learned of the passing of my good friend, mentor and our former Mayor, Willie Mays, III. As we process the magnitude of this loss, on behalf of my family and the entire Augusta, Georgia Commission, we extend our condolences to his wife Raye and his entire family.”  

Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr.

Mays owned and operated W.H. Mays Mortuary and served as mayor of Augusta between 2005 and 2006. During that service, he earned the designation as first African American Mayor of Augusta post consolidation.

Mayor Davis added that Mays comes from a family dedicated to serving the people. His late mother, Carrie J. Mays, was the first woman to serve on the Augusta City Council. Mayor Mays is also described as an outspoken advocate for citizens, a dedicated heart of service and friend to many.

His wife, Raye Mays, and family express their appreciation of the love and support shown to them at this most difficult time.

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