Thursday, February 8, 2007, Obituaries

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2007

Clifton E. Day

Clifton E. Day, 85, of Troy, who was a WWII veteran, retired teacher, devoted father and grandfather died on Feb. 3, 2007.

He died at Heartland Hospice in Cartersville, Ga., surrounded by his son, Blaine Day, daughter-in-law, Beverly King Day, daughter, Martha Jean Day Head, son-in-law, Marcus Head and grandson, Garrett Day, after an 11-week battle with liver failure. The liver failure was related to a previous two-month stay in the hospital during WWII brought on from a blood transfusion.

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The son of James Richard Day and Etta Lee Baker Day, Mr. Day was born in Troy and raised mostly in the Springhill Community.

He was inducted in the United States Army in August 1942 and served in the Medical Detachment of the 17th Infantry. He wears the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign, World War II Victory and Good Conduct Medals, and Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, as well as the Expert Medical Badge and six Battle Stars. He participated in the battles of the Marshall, Leyte, Luzon and Okinawa Islands. His final assignment was in Korea. He also played on the U.S. Army exhibition baseball team in Hawaii against professionals, including Joe DiMaggio.

He returned to Troy and on Aug. 8, 1946, married Martha Louise Dunn, daughter of William Richard Dunn, deceased, and Audrey Harris Dunn of the Needmore Community.

They attended Troy Teachers College together. While in college, Clifton was a pitcher for the university and also for minor league farm teams. He declined an opportunity to move up to the major leagues to finish college on the GI bill. Upon completion of their degrees, the couple moved to Florida, where they taught school together for their entire career.

Clifton began his 35-year career in education in Callahan, Fla., spent time in Grand Ridge, Fla., and Sneads, Fla., and retired with his wife in 1986 from Pace Middle School in Santa Rosa County, Fla., after approximately 25 years of service.

He also spent many of those years coaching and continued to play ball well into his 60s.

He was a devoted and loving spouse for almost 47 years until his wife's death in 1993.

He moved back home to Troy in 1994.

He resided in the Needmore Community, was a member of Northside Baptist Church, and led a very active life until the past six months.

He was preceded in death by three brothers, George Thomas Day, Carroll James Day and William Denzil Day, and four sisters, Minnie Elizabeth Young, Bobbie Cleone Tuck, Clara Mae Yarbrough, and Mary Melanee Holcombe.

He is survived by a sister-in-law, Louise Day, of Montgomery; four grandchildren, Kristina Day, Garrett Day, Grace Head and Grant Head; and many nieces and nephews.

Above all, Mr. Day was a patient, positive, giving and caring person. Healthy and energetic, and never seeing himself as &#8220old,” most of his life was devoted to hard work, fun and taking care of others. He was generous with his time and his talents for teaching and building things, and used those talents to provide much enjoyment and positive direction to his children, grandchildren and many other kids.

He embraced hard work, and there was nothing he was too good to do, including many hours of housework and cooking as his wife's health declined. His depression-era attitude was so strong that he almost never spent money on himself, but would always give to his children and others. Even in his last hours, he was concerned about his family and his special friend, Dorothy Murray.

A nurse asked him what was his secret to longevity and happiness and he simply replied, &#8220walking with the Lord.”

Upon his retirement, a student wrote, &#8220For all the help you've given and all the dreams you've made, there's no amount of thanks that could ever repay your time, but you can take pride in life, as you've taught me in mine!

Thank you and good-bye!”

Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Dillard Funeral Home in Troy.

The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m Saturday with the Rev. Clifford Matthews officiating.

There will be a military graveside service at Green Hills Cemetery.

Family and friends are invited to a luncheon at Northside Baptist Church following the graveside service.

Memorials can be made to Williams Memorial Presbyterian Church, Building Preservation Fund, 2182 County Road 7708, Troy, AL 36081 in honor of Clifton and Martha Day, the first couple to be married in the church.