“Then He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”
Yea, though he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, he felt no evil, for God was with him. In the early morning on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, with his family at his side, the soul of Douglas McArthur Day Sr. gently and peacefully passed into the house of the Lord, where he will dwell forever.
Douglas was the youngest of 12 children born to the late Ballard Stafford Day Sr. and the late Hattie Mae Snell Day in Radford, Jan. 9, 1942. At a very young age, Douglas accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized by the late Rev. Henry Clay at First Baptist Church, West Street, Radford. He was spiritual with a deep faith in God.
Over thirty years ago, he and his wife moved their membership from First Baptist Church, Radford, to Blacksburg Baptist Church, Blacksburg, where he was a member of the Usher Board, a Deacon, and served on several committees.
A man of quiet dignity, an infectious smile, and patience, he walked by faith and not by sight. His love, faith in God, dignity, independence, fortitude and strength are the legacy that he instilled in each of his children while they were still young in age.
He was a fighter in that he never gave up fighting his battle against colon cancer. He had an endless faith in His Lord and Savior as was evident in his Caring Bridge site. He lived his life to the fullest, he laughed often, he loved always and he prayed throughout his journey. He did what God had asked him to do … share his testimony with others so they, too, will be led to Christ.
Douglas loved his family and cherished them to the end of his life. His love and memory will be forever cherished by his loving, devoted and the love of his life wife, Betty M. Day; his most loving, caring, thoughtful and kind children, Michelle Boumae Day Hairston and husband, Adam, of Richmond, Douglas M. Day Jr. and wife, Dana, of Blacksburg, and Kimberly Norene Day Tuttle and husband, Charles, of Charlotte, N.C.; the pride, joy and center of his life, his beautiful granddaughters and very handsome grandson, Rachel Lynn and Ella Grace Day, Morgan Michelle and Kimberlynn Danielle Tuttle and Michael Balthazar Hairston, who brought sunshine to his life always; a very special nephew and special niece, Walter Rodney Dehart (Laura) of Sumterville, Fla., who was like a son to him, and Patty DeHart Goldman (Dwight) of Kansas City, Kansas. Also surviving are two sisters, Frances Day Jackson (Lorenzo) of Washington, D.C. and Maxine Day Murphy (Franklyn) of Blacksburg, VA; a brother, Charles W. Day (Hilda) of Roanoke; his brother-in-law, James W. Draper Jr. (Sondra) of Richmond, and many, many other wonderful cousins, nephews and nieces. The whole New River Valley and surrounding areas include so many wonderful friends, which we could not possibly name or thank them all. However, the family would like to give special thanks to Charles and Tina Lee, Warren and Claudia Stutzman, Chris and Sarah St. Jean, the Revs. Tommy McDearis, Todd Millspas, Reggie Tuck and Dr. Robert Stockburger, all of Blacksburg, the Rev. Charles Charlton, Johnson City, Tenn. and the Rev. Walter Roy of Henrico; the doctors and nurses from Johns Hopkins Oncology Clinic of Baltimore, Md.; the Blue Ridge Cancer Center of Blacksburg, and the Good Samaritan Hospice of Christiansburg.
Douglas was employed as a safety engineer for over 40 years with the Department of Defense upon his retirement in 2008 from the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Radford. His leadership was impeccable. He talked it, he walked it and he embodied it. He was all about “TEAMWORK”. Among his many values were Honor, Courage, Loyalty, Compassion, Generosity and Integrity. Douglas was a retired Virginia Army National Guard Sergeant for twenty-six years where he was appointed recruiter for the Army National Guard by the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brigadier General William J. McCaddin in 1972 and received the honor of being named The Virginia National Guardsman of the Year in 1976 and given the nickname of “Sergeant Starch” because of his crisp, stiff starched uniforms. While employed with the Department of Defense, he received many honors and awards, including the most prestigious honor of being named the National Civilian Safety Specialist in 2008. For this honor he was presented this award at the Pentagon.
A Celebration of Douglas’ life will be held at Blacksburg Baptist Church on Sunday, November 26, 2012 at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Tommy McDearis officiating.
Full Military Honors will be held at the Memorial Gardens of the New River Valley, North Main Street, Blacksburg, immediately following the services.
Although flowers are appreciated, the family request donations made to the Blacksburg Bruins Family Fund, Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, VA; or to the Building Funds of First Baptist Church, 555 Rock Road, Radford, VA; Blacksburg Baptist Church, 550 North Main Street, Blacksburg, VA or to the Blacksburg United Methodist Church, 111 Church Street, Blacksburg, VA.