Murvan Morris “Scotty” Maxwell died January 30, 2002 at his daughter’s home in Metarie, Louisiana. He was 91. A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Scotty earned distinction both in his architectural profession and in a wide range of civic activities. In the latter category, he is best remembered by Maxwells as the founder, first President, and life Convener of the Clan Maxwell Society.
This sixth generation New Orleanian graduated from his city’s Warren Easton High School in 1927 and earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from his city’s Tulane University in 1931. He was Chief Architect for the National Youth Administration in Louisiana from 1937 to 1941 and for Jackson Barracks Military Reservation. During World War II, he did research in structural timber for the Southern Pines Association and was a research architect with Higgins Plastics Corporation. After the war, he became a partner in the firm of Sporl & Maxwell, which became Murvan M. Maxwell & Associates after his partner’s death. Then from 1962 to 1988, he was a partner in the firm of Maxwell & LeBreton.
Among Scotty’s major architectural projects were designs and renovations for schools, college buildings, courthouses, churches, fire stations, libraries, commercial and industrial buildings, and residences. And he was regarded as one of the nation’s leading experts on building codes and fire safety, chairing numerous local and national committees to study and improve building codes. He was, for example, instrumental in developing the building codes for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Scotty was inducted as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1971 and was a past president of the Louisiana Architects Association, of the New Orleans Chapter of the AIA, and of the Construction Industry Association of New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana. He received the Construction Industry Association Man of the Year Award in 1977 and the Louisiana Architects Association Medal of Honor in 1990.
Such a long list of professional achievements would be more than enough to qualify for a life of distinction, but for Scotty it was just a starting point. In addition to his work with the Clan Maxwell Society, Scotty left a legacy of community involvement.
He was a central figure in the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, America’s premier annual Scottish festival in Linville, North Carolina. He was a Board Member, Parade Marshall Emeritus and, with his wife Edith, recipient of the Agnes McRae Morton Award for Distinguished Service.
He was a founding member of the St. Andrew Society of Louisiana, Regional Vice President of the St. Andrew Society of the Middle South, and a past President of the New Orleans Celtic Club.
As a lifelong resident of New Orleans, he was active in the life of that city, serving as President and Honorary Life Member in the Round Table Club of New Orleans, honorary Life Member of the Bienville Club, and Member Emeritus of the World Trade Center of New Orleans.
Scotty’s historical interests were also wide ranging. He served as President of the New Orleans Genealogical Research Society and of the Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society. He was a member of the Royal Society of St. George, the Civil War Round Table of New Orleans, the Society of the War of 1812 in Louisiana, and the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.
And his outgoing, sociable nature fit naturally with his city’s annual Mardis Gras celebrations. He served as King of Alexis in 1987 and held memberships in Le Debut des Jeunes Filles de la Nourvelle Orleans and in the Krews of Dorians, Athenians, and Prophets of Persia.
He was, in short, a man of many interests. And he constantly sought out others to join in exploring those interests, share time and ideas with new friends, and touch many people with the contagious enthusiasm which made him, for so many, an unforgettable character.
Most of those fortunate enough to know Scotty were also fortunate enough to know his inseparable companion for 58 years, the late Edith May Bartholomew. Scotty and Edith were married in 1938, and Edith died in 1997. She shared his enthusiasm for the Clan Maxwell Society and served as the organization’s secretary for 30 years. Scotty and Edith are survived by their two daughters, Maureen Maxwell Tipton and Marilyn Maxwell Malone, and by five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
It is not enough to say that Scotty will be missed. Few come along in a lifetime to contribute so much and leave such a visible legacy. For the Clan Maxwell Society, he was for many, many years the indispensable man without whom we would not have been formed or survived our early years. He was, and is, truly a legend among his beloved Maxwells.