Cover photo for Donald  E. Day's Obituary
Donald  E. Day Profile Photo
1945 Donald 2018

Donald E. Day

November 26, 1945 — April 27, 2018

World War II was still an everyday talk and concern in 1945 and the year brought light that the end of the war was nearing. That year nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki causing Japan to surrender on August 14th and with Adolf Hitler no longer in power after his death, the war ended on September 2. Most manufacturing was focused during the past four years on the War effort, but 1945 was the year that the microwave oven was invented and the assembly of the world's first general purpose electronic computer was completed. That same year on November 26, Elmer K. and Olive (Cotner) Day made the announcement of the birth of their youngest son, Donald E. Day. He was born at the Lucky Hospital in Wolf Lake, Indiana.

He was raised in rural Whitley County on a farm between Columbia City and South Whitley. Like most farm kids of his time, Don learned the value of hard work with the duties he had on the farm. While in high school, his parents moved into the town of Columbia City and he would graduate from Columbia City Joint High School with the Class of 1964. Following graduation he continued to paint cars for Warnick Auto Sales before being drafted into the U.S. Army and served during the Vietnam War.

After being honorably discharged, he worked a short time at Weatherhead in Columbia City. He knew the factory life was not for him and had an interest in becoming a pastor. Don would move from Columbia City and attend God's Bible School and College in Cincinnati. During this time, he made the decision to continue to serve his country and re-enlist into the Army. He would earn many medals and recognitions for his hard work. Don would go on to serve over 20 years. During his second enlistment, he was stationed overseas for five of those years, including living in Germany, Israel, and Korea.

During those years while serving as a drill instructor, he became interested in marathons and ran with some of his friends in a marathon while stationed in Israel. He was honorably discharged in 1998. Following retirement, Don enjoyed landscape work at Central Texas College, Fort Hood and became a landscape engineer for Casey Memorial Library. He took great pride to make sure everything was in order and looked beautiful to welcome everyone that came.

Don loved the Texas weather and after retirement, he knew he wanted to make Copperas Cove, Texas his home. He always stayed active and fit and besides running, he enjoyed riding bicycles. On one occasion, he rode his bike round trip, over 2,600 miles, from Fort Hood to San Diego, California and back. Looking into his garage, Don had more than 50 bikes, many of which he had worn out riding countless miles on and they held fond memories for him. It was not unusual for him to ride 140 miles in a day. With the love of mowing, he even pulled his push mower behind his bike and rode 25 miles one way to do his landscape and mowing at Fort Hood.

Besides riding and running marathons, he always made time to read and reflect upon the readings from his bible. Don had read and wore out several of his bibles with making notes and highlighting different scriptures on all the pages. He was raised going to the Wesley Methodist Church and was a faithful member of Robertson Ave. Baptist Church in Copperas Cove. He always enjoyed going to the bible study groups there. Along with the church, he was a lifetime member of the VFW.

With a love for dogs, Don supported his local humane shelter and animal control. Don always thought about his dogs and any time he would take them out in the car, he made a bed for them to lay on that was sitting on top of ice to keep them cool. Some people in the community did not realize this and made some calls to the animal control, but they knew Don and how he pampered his dogs over other dog owners.

Don was easy to talk with and he was always interested in things going on in other people's lives. He loved his family and loved taking his nephews to the ball games, usually to see the Chicago Cubs when they were kids. Besides being a religious person, Don was patriotic and a proud Republican. He was politically active and took pride in donating to their causes and campaigns.

Life changed drastically on August 7, 2017 for him. While out on a bike ride between Copperas Cove and Killeen, Texas, Don was hit by a car. His family brought him back to Indiana by December. His health drastically took a turn for the worse and at 6:10 a.m. Friday, April 27, 2018 at Miller's Merry Manor, Columbia City; he passed away at the age of 72. As his family reflects upon his life, they often wonder if the author of the movie, "Forrest Gump" had talked to Don about his life and was inspired to write the film.

Survivors include his sister, Wilma Bender, of Columbia City; numerous loving nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews; and beloved dogs, Theedie and Perky who was adopted out to a couple and continue to live in Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Vesta Bennett and Norma Warnick; and brother, Wilbur Day.

Visitation is 10-11:45 a.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. His funeral services will be held at 12 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Tom Beers of Columbia City Church of the Nazarene officiating. Burial will follow at Greenhill Cemetery with military honors being rendered by the U.S. Army and the Whitley County Korean War Veteran's Honor Guard. Memorial gifts may be given in his memory to the Humane Society of Whitley County. Visit to send his family condolences online.


DeMoney-Grimes a Life Story Funeral Home
600 Countryside Drive Columbia City, Indiana 46725

10:00 AM - 11:45 AM


DeMoney-Grimes a Life Story Funeral Home
600 Countryside Drive Columbia City, Indiana 46725

12:00 PM
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