Jerry Donald Day Sr.

Published 2:33 pm Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Jerry Donald Day Sr. died Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, at Countryside Village Assisted Living in Stokesdale, N.C. He was 90. Mr. Day was a beloved member of the Vicksburg community from 1964 to 2019. 

Mr. Day was born Nov. 12, 1930, in Catawba, N.C. He was the son of the late Claude Parker Day Sr. and Violet Honeycutt Day. 

Mr. Day played high school football in Rock Hill, S.C. Upon graduation, he was offered both a full scholarship to play for a Division 1 college team in the state, and a spot at Duke University in North Carolina. He chose to attend Duke, where he studied physics and mathematics and participated in gymnastics and tennis.

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While a student, Mr. Day met Martha Guilford Hickman of Wilmington, N.C., on a blind date in Raleigh, N.C. They married in December 1953.

Mr. Day graduated from Duke in January 1954, and the Days moved to Aberdeen, Md., where he worked as a nuclear physicist at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground. They had four sons while they lived in Maryland.

In 1964, the Day family moved to Vicksburg when Mr. Day accepted a position at the U.S. Army Waterways Experiment Station, now the Engineering and Research Development Center.

During his professional career, Mr. Day also earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Physics at George Washington University and pursued further study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Day served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 33 years, working in Vicksburg and traveling across the U.S. for research. He retired as the head of the Weapons Effects Laboratory. Mr. Day then began work in the private sector at BDM International, which took him to the United Kingdom and Germany as a representative to NATO. Mr. Day’s family will remember with fondness his passion for science and tales from his career.

Mr. Day taught Sunday school at Crawford Street United Methodist Church was a member of the Vicksburg YMCA Y’s Men Club, and spent many years playing in a local tennis group. He was an avid duck hunter and lifelong Duke basketball fan.

Mr. Day joins his late wife Martha and grandson Jason Randolph Day Jr. in spirit. He is survived by his four sons, Jerry Donald Day Jr. of Harkers Island, N.C. and Denise Day of Whitsett, N.C., Jason Randolph Day Sr., and his wife Diane, of Greensboro, N.C., Timothy Parker Day Sr., and his wife Dory, of Greensboro, N.C., and William Robert Day Sr., of Oxford. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Matthew Donald Day and his wife Kristen, Dr. Sarah Ann Day, Sean Murphy, Erin Murphy, Timothy Parker Day Jr., Jordan Elizabeth Day Huffman and her husband Rickey, Maggie Martha Day Brito and her husband Nicolas, William Robert Day Jr. and Savannah Sue Day. Mr. Day has three great-grandchildren, Lilly Addison, Violet Marie and Everett Duke.

Mr. Day’s ashes will be spread in one of his favorite secret duck hunting spots.