Thursday, December 21, 2006
In Memoriam, Michael Franklin Mays
Let me start by saying that I know that whatever words I utter here will be insufficient to capturing the truth of Mike Mays' life. However, I have to share, even in this poor way.
Mike was a lot of things. He was a loving son, a Soldier, a loving & devoted husband and father, a career soldier, an entrepreneur, a singer/musician, an inventor, a pastor and a true friend to many. He was my sometime hunting partner, basketball opponent, running/PT partner, co-worker for many years, a fine man who never failed to do the best he could and always tried to do the right thing. When he died he was 52, nearly 53, but even in illness he hadn't stopped being a good father and loving husband.
Mike loved to hunt. He loved to work out the puzzle of where the game was. He loved to take a new gun and try it on game and he was good enough he most often could. However, I could never quite get the hang of giving away guns like he did. I've known him to do that several times. I finally came to the conclusion that he did it because he couldn't imagine somebody else being denied a chance to go hunting, he had to help. Mike only ever killed one deer hunting with me. I was pleased to show him where to sit and in 10 minutes he'd shot a buck. In truth, he probably could have walked in there and found just where to sit and been successful without me. Still, it was pure pleasure helping him get that deer home.
Mike helped a lot of people. He gave them money, food, and his time. He did all he could. Of course, Mike believed that one must believe in Jesus to get to heaven, that good works doesn't do “it”. If ever anyone believed Mike did.
Now, I'm sure he has to be in heaven. I bet there was quite a group there to welcome Mike home. I hope he'll be there to welcome me when it is my turn.
This is his “official” obituary:
Michael F. Mays – his body is now at Francis J. Collins Funeral Home, Inc., 500 University Boulevard, West, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901 where they will prepare and shelter it until burial on Dec. 21 in Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m.
Pastor Michael Franklin (Mike) Mays, 52, of Mt. Solon, was born March 31, 1954, in Abingdon, Virignia. After three months of hospitalizations, Mike died of heart failure December 5, 2006, in transit from NNMC, Bethesda, to Fairfax Hospital heart unit.
Mike is survived by his wife of 33 years, Ginny Clinedinst Mays; daughter Charity Belle; and son Michael Jason Mays; mother-in-law Hazel Clinedinst, all of Mt. Solon; parents, Rev. Arthur and Myrtle Mays of Staunton; brother, Rev. Mark Mays and wife Rhonda of Harrisonburg; and sister Kathy Hall of Durham, North Carolina, plus extended family.
Mike served as Stokesville Church’s pastor and worship leader. He was an accomplished songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, producing a CD, “Plowman’s Hope,” of 11 original inspirational songs, plus a small CD, “Happy in Heaven.”
He was founder and CEO of Visual Addressing, LLC, having secured patent rights and other patents pending for photo mapping directions at www.visualaddressing.com and www.acumapper.com.
Mike served in the Marine Corps at M.C. Headquarters, Arlington, Virignia. He won the National Service Ribbon and Expert High Shooter Medal. He retired from 19 years in Virginia’s Army National Guard as Senior Nuclear, Biological, Chemical NCO; Marksmanship Trainer; Information Systems Security NCO; Budget Coordinator; Travel Orders Publication Manager; U.S. Army School System Reviewer; and control cell member in Virginia Army National Guard Emergency Operations Center in State duty alerts. His military awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Virginia State Medal for EOC Operations.
Mike worked at Lowes, Smith’s Transfer as Frontline Breakbulk Operations Supervisor, Pitney Bowes as independent service sub-contractor for upper Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville regions, and U.S. Postal Service, Dayton, VA as rural carrier. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman.
A service to celebrate Pastor Mays’ life will be held at Victory Worship & World Outreach Cntr., 200 Hammond Lane, Staunton, VA at 7 p.m., Dec. 12. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to New Life Ministries (WNLR), P.O. Box 400, Churchville, VA 24421. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at 1000 on 21 December 2006.
If you can attend SFC (USA, Ret.) Michael F. Mays burial at Arlington, please do so.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard