Thursday, December 21, 2006

In Memoriam, Michael Franklin Mays

Let me start by saying that I know that whatever words I utter here will be insufficient to capturing the truth of Mike Mays' life. However, I have to share, even in this poor way.

Mike was a lot of things. He was a loving son, a Marine, a loving & devoted husband and father, a career soldier, an entrepreneur, a singer/musician, an inventor, a pastor and a true friend to many. He was my sometime hunting partner, basketball opponent, running/PT partner, co-worker for many years, a fine man who never failed to do the best he could and always tried to do the right thing. When he died he was 52, nearly 53, but even in illness he hadn't stopped being a good father and loving husband.

Mike loved to hunt. He loved to work out the puzzle of where the game was. He loved to take a new gun and try it on game and he was good enough he most often could. However, I could never quite get the hang of giving away guns like he did. I've known him to do that several times. I finally came to the conclusion that he did it because he couldn't imagine somebody else being denied a chance to go hunting, he had to help. Mike only ever killed one deer hunting with me. I was pleased to show him where to sit and in 10 minutes he'd shot a buck. In truth, he probably could have walked in there and found just where to sit and been successful without me. Still, it was pure pleasure helping him get that deer home.

Mike helped a lot of people. He gave them money, food, and his time. He did all he could. Of course, Mike believed that one must believe in Jesus to get to heaven, that good works doesn't do "it". If ever anyone believed Mike did.

Now, I'm sure he has to be in heaven. I bet there was quite a group there to welcome Mike home. I hope he'll be there to welcome me when it is my turn.

This is his "official" obituary...
Michael F. Mays – his body is now at Francis J. Collins Funeral Home, Inc., 500 University Boulevard, West, Silver Spring, MD 20901 where they will prepare and shelter it until burial on Dec. 21 in Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m.

Pastor Michael Franklin (Mike) Mays, 52, of Mt. Solon, was born March 31, 1954, in Abingdon, VA. After three months of hospitalizations, Mike died of heart failure Dec. 5 in transit from NNMC, Bethesda, to Fairfax Hospital heart unit.

Mike is survived by his wife of 33 years, Ginny Clinedinst Mays; daughter Charity Belle; and son Michael Jason Mays; mother-in-law Hazel Clinedinst, all of Mt. Solon; parents, Rev. Arthur and Myrtle Mays of Staunton; brother, Rev. Mark Mays and wife Rhonda of Harrisonburg; and sister Kathy Hall of Durham, NC; plus extended family.

Mike served as Stokesville Church’s pastor and worship leader. He was an accomplished songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, producing a CD, “Plowman’s Hope,” of 11 original inspirational songs, plus a small CD, “Happy in Heaven.”

He was founder and CEO of Visual Addressing, LLC, having secured patent rights and other patents pending for photo mapping directions at and

Mike served in the Marine Corps at M.C. Headquarters, Arlington, VA. He won the National Service Ribbon and Expert High Shooter Medal. He retired from 19 years in Virginia’s Army National Guard as Senior Nuclear, Biological, Chemical NCO; Marksmanship Trainer; Information Systems Security NCO; Budget Coordinator; Travel Orders Publication Manager; U.S. Army School System Reviewer; and control cell member in Virginia Army National Guard Emergency Operations Center in State duty alerts. His military awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Virginia State Medal for EOC Operations.

Mike worked at Lowes, Smith’s Transfer as Frontline Breakbulk Operations Supervisor, Pitney Bowes as independent service sub-contractor for upper Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville regions, and U.S. Postal Service, Dayton, VA as rural carrier. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

A service to celebrate Pastor Mays’ life will be held at Victory Worship & World Outreach Cntr., 200 Hammond Lane, Staunton, VA at 7 p.m., Dec. 12. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to New Life Ministries (WNLR), P.O. Box 400, Churchville, VA 24421. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at 1000 on 21 December 2006.

If you can attend SFC (USA, Ret.) Michael F. Mays burial at Arlington, please do so.

It only seems right to note the passing of Mike's son Jason here with him.
MOUNT SOLON — Michael Jason Mays, 36, of 1378 George Walton's Road, died Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Augusta Health of complications following his first bout with pneumonia.

Born March 15, 1976, in Staunton, he was the son of Michael Franklin and Virginia "Ginny" Clinedinst Mays. He was a member of Stokesville Church. His angelic eyes and smile tugged at the heartstrings of the community who came together with area churches to build a handicapped-accessible home for him in 2007. He lived with his mother and sister, received care from Judy Ward, Betty Hevener, residential consultant Amy Harmon of Family Sharing Inc., Deborah Bullard of VCSB and Drs. Richard Elsea of West Augusta Family Practice and Zizette Makary of National Naval Medical Center of Bethesda, Md.

He was preceded in death by his father and his maternal grandfather, Albert "Snooks" W. Clinedinst. Surviving are his mother and his sister, Charity Mays of Mount Solon; his paternal grandparents, the Rev. Arthur Mays and Myrtle "Gertie" Mays of Staunton; his maternal grandmother, Hazel Langston Clinedinst of Mount Solon; his uncle, the Rev. Mark Mays and wife Rhonda of Mount Crawford; his aunts, Kathy Hall of Staunton, Judy Ward of Churchville and Teresa Howdyshell and husband, Jim, of Mount Solon; cousins, Susan Medlin and husband, Travis, Neal Hall and wife, Kristie, Lydia Trollo, Jennifer Inboden and husband, Matthew, Melissa and Luke Mays, Audrey and Anthony Bess, Hayden Hall and Julia and Gabriel Inboden.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Bear Funeral Home. Jason will receive a musical tribute at 7 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2012, in Stokesville Church from jazz guitarist Mike Ess of Richmond accompanied by other artists. Jason's life will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Sangerville Towers Ruritan Hall. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

Jason's family expresses appreciation for the exceptional care and devotion shown by Augusta Health, Rockingham Memorial Hospital and Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad.

Memorials may be directed to The North River Ministerial Association in the hopes that other families might be blessed as we have been by this group's projects. Direct funds to NRMA care of Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church, 372 Kyles Mill Road, Mount Solon, VA 22843 or to Sangersville Towers Ruritans 38 Emmanuel Church Road, Mount Solon, VA 22843.

Condolences may be expressed online at

Mike and Jason will be buried in section 66, 7475.

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