James Donald Day, 92, of Westfield, Indiana, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020. Don was the faithful husband to his bride Mary Lou for 68 years and 1 day.
Born Wednesday, November 14th, 1928, Don, as he was affectionately called, grew up in the small country burg of Horton, Indiana, just north of his final resting place. He was the son of James Silas Day and Bernice Marie (Teter) Day, and the eldest brother to Robert “Bob” Day, William “Bill” Day, and Dennis “Denny” Day. Don grew up humbly in a house filled with hard work, ambition, and love. A life-long resident of Hamilton County, Don graduated from Westfield High School in 1946 and was a member of the football team and multiple extracurricular activities. In 1950, Don was drafted into the Army and faithfully served his country as a soldier in the Korean War. The bonds he made with his fellow infantrymen were lifelong and everlasting, and for many years they stayed in close contact and were nothing short of extended family. When he was honorably discharged in December of 1952, Don, fresh off the boat and “so thin his family didn’t hardly recognize him” was married shortly thereafter to the love of his life and fellow Westfield alum, Mary Lou Wheeler on Sunday, December 28th, 1952, on a cold, yet sunny day. In 1956 he graduated from Butler University, after completing most of his classes at night, while working during the day and helping Mary Lou’s father Paul farm in Westfield. In the fall of 1957, Don and Mary Lou welcomed their first child, Kevin, and little sister Becky joined them in the winter of 1961. Don went on to work at various places, including Curtis, now Curtis Dyna-Fog, in Westfield for many years, but ultimately scratching his entrepreneurial itch by helping found Distribution Management Associates also known as “DMA”. While the company is still actively running in downtown Indianapolis, Don retired as Vice President and the impact the company has had on thousands of households is quiet, yet impressive, much like Don himself. While his professional life was active and demanding, it was outside the walls of work in which his servant’s heart was most inspiring. Don held various positions on committees at Christ United Methodist Church in Westfield, Westfield Masonic Lodge as past Master, the Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis, Murat Temple, the National Council of Physical Distribution Management, the Indianapolis Motor Transportation Club, Indianapolis Athletic Club, Indiana Farm Bureau, Westfield Lions Club (where he could be frequently found frying fish at the annual Fish Fry), American Legion Post #318, and was a Past Associate Guardian of Bethel #68 International Order of Job’s Daughters. In 2009 he accepted admittance to the Westfield Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. A few years later he participated in the Indy Honor Flight and took the trip to Washington D.C. for the day alongside his fellow veterans. While those positions, boards, and acts of service and leadership were all significant in his many years on this earth, they paled in comparison to the love, affection, and generosity he bestowed upon his family. Forever “Papaw” in the eyes of his Grand and Great Grandchildren, Don was always there for a bit of advice, support, and guidance whenever it was needed, a good hug, and maybe even an extra bid at an auction, if you both agreed that it (whatever it was) needed to be bought. He enjoyed his trips to Florida with Mary Lou and his family, playing cards with his friends, classical music, a nice glass of Merlot alongside a filet, Mary Lou’s homemade chicken and noodles with an extra dash of cayenne pepper, antique tractors and his favorite sports teams. He loved humbly and quietly, yet with a ferocity that was unmatched. He will forever be missed.
Don is survived by his bride of 68 years, Mary Lou (Wheeler) Day, brother Dennis Day son Kevin (Ann) Day, daughter Becky Weiss (David), grandchildren Nathan Day (Renee), Chris Weiss (Sarah), Kristen Yutzy (Ryan), and Cameron Day. Great Grandchildren Madeline Weiss, Henry Day, and Lyle Yutzy. Don was preceded in death by his parents James Silas Day and Bernice (Teter) Day, brothers Robert “Bob” Day, and William “Bill” Day.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, please make a contribution in Don’s honor to the Christ United Methodist Building Fund: Please make checks to CUMC and mail to 318 N Union St, Westfield, IN 46074.
There will be no public services at this time.