Remembering the Beloved Legacy of Peggy Pitman Mays

Peggy Pitman Mays

Sadly, a giant pillar of our community – Peggy Pitman Mays – passed away in 2020. She made a profound impact on our community during her lifetime and her legacy will live on for generations to come.

We were truly blessed by her friendship, support, generosity, compassion, and dedication to making lives better.

Loving wife, mother of four, grandmother of sixteen and great-grandmother of one (with two more on the way) passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 11, 2020, at the age of 85. Peggy was born on June 23, 1935, in the Nix Hospital in San Antonio. She attended Cambridge Elementary, graduated from Saint Mary’s Hall, attended Wellesley College, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Interior Design from the University of the Incarnate Word and was a professional allied member of ASID.

Peggy had an intense love for family, nature, travel, and the arts. Those passions were her guiding light and were woven through everything she did. Peggy lived her life actively and poured her heart, soul, time, and resources into the things she loved. Life was not a spectator sport for Peggy. She was a lover of all things old and new. Her strongest attributes were loyalty, tenacity, compassion, and her desire to leave this world a better place.

She married Lester Lowry Mays on July 31, 1959. Immediately after the ceremony, they boarded an Air Force transport plane headed to Taiwan. They stopped on Kwajalein Atoll for a hot dog and spent their honeymoon in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo before heading to Taipei where they spent the first years of their marriage. Peggy loved adventure and travel so what a perfect way to kick off their 61-year marriage and love affair!

Peggy’s father always said, “travel is the best education,” and she passed that lesson down to her kids. She even made the standing offer to take any of them anywhere as long as she got to come along. She ventured all over the world with her kids. From the beaches of Bora Bora to the great pyramids in Egypt, to the ruins of Machu Pichu, to the native tribes of Papua New Guinea, to the plains of Africa — nowhere was too far to go.

To say that Peggy was a force of nature is definitely an understatement. Her friends called her the Energizer Bunny because she had an unending source of stamina and was in constant motion. Peggy directed much of that energy toward helping others and giving back to the communities in which she lived. If you wanted something to get done, Peggy was the person to call to make sure it happened. Peggy served on numerous community boards including the Board of Governors at the Mays Cancer Center (then known as CTRC) and the SA Cancer Council (then known as Cancer Center Council).

Peggy’s tenacious spirit was evident in everything that she did, including her battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer at age 50 and kept it at bay for 35 years while also helping others fight cancer through her generous support of the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson.

We are deeply grateful to Peggy and Lowry and the Mays family for their unwavering support and generosity to so many worthy causes in our community over the years. The significant impact of their transformational gift to UT Health San Antonio to name the Mays Cancer Center in January 2018 will endure for generations to come and is a lasting legacy of their remarkable generosity and dedication to helping others.


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In the 2020 issue of Mays Cancer Center Annual Report

The mission of the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson, is to reduce the cancer burden in South Texas through the highest quality cancer care, groundbreaking research aimed at reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer, education of future cancer scientists and clinicians, and cancer prevention programs focused on our unique population.

View the 2020 issue

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