DANIEL D. MAYS | MAY 17, 1947 - DEC. 22, 2013

Decorated veteran loved country and family

2014-01-30T00:00:00Z 2014-01-30T21:09:09Z Decorated veteran loved country and familyCHARLES F. HABER Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 30, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Daniel Mays was most eager when it came to serving his country and loving his family.

He felt the call of patriotic duty and enlisted in the Marines at the age of 19.

"He was a Vietnam war veteran," said his wife of over 34 years, Darlene.

Daniel D. Mays, 66, of Rochester, IN, formerly of Hammond, died Dec. 22.

"He was a radio man," said his brother, David Mays.

Darlene Mays said her husband served three tours of duty.

"He saw a lot of action" and received a purple heart, along with a myriad of other decorations, she noted.

After serving his country, Mays returned as a boilermaker with Local 374 and oversaw many projects, including the Wheatfield generating station.

He was forced to retire early as a disabled veteran because of Polymyalgia Rheumatica.

Darlene Mays said the condition was triggered by Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam and that medical help was hard to come by.

"I'm just disappointed in my government and the Veterans Administration system," she said, noting that she is trying to get a veterans medical bill passed in her husband's name.

Mays certainly believed in helping others, as Darlene noted that they helped start a food pantry, Mathew's Market, for their church, The Cross.

It feeds over 600 families each month.

An avid hunter and fisherman, Mays loved teaching his children, Daniel and Sarah; and grandchildren, Cole and Lyndee.

Darlene Mays noted that over 700 people attended her husband's wake, including co-workers he knew before retiring in 1989.

She proudly observed that her husband grew up on "God and country" and believed deeply in both.

"Those kind of men are few and far between," his wife lovingly said.

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