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1931 Reverend Donald 2020

Reverend Donald Everett Day

September 12, 1931 — December 5, 2020

Reverend Donald Day died December 5, 2020, at Crystal Brooks Gem Unit at the age of 89 years. Donald was born on September 12, 1931, to Everett and Hazel (Risch) Day in Appleton, Minnesota. After high school graduation, he attended St. Cloud State University until 1951 when the Appleton National Guard was called to active duty during the Korean War. Upon honorable discharge, he attended Hamline University, graduating in 1956. During his Hamline years, his studies were again delayed for a year as he served on a deputation team working in churches to revitalize ministries through Methodist Youth Fellowship. It was during this year that Donald first felt the call to serve the Lord through ministry. He attended Boston University School of Theology earning a Bachelor of Divinity degree (1959) and a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling (1961). A second focus emerged in 1956 when he met Virginia Fairchild. They married in 1958 to enjoy 62 years of marriage. Children, Annette, Elizabeth, and Douglas soon joined the family. While at Boston University, he served two student charges; Pawtucket Congregational Church, Lowell, MA, as a youth minister and a pastor at Weirs Beach/Lakeport Methodist churches in New Hampshire. In 1961, he was ordained as Elder in the Methodist Annual Conference. He retired in 1998 upon serving 42 years in ministry and chaplaincy. He was appointed to the following MN churches; Waite Park (1961-66), Epworth Church in Minneapolis (1966-68), Riverside United Methodist in Park Rapids (1971-81), Fourth Avenue in Fairbault (1981-89), and St. Paul’s Mendota Heights (1989-1998). He also worked as a minister to children at First Church in St. Cloud (1964-66). Following three summers of chaplaincy training, he served as Chaplain/Case Worker at Bar None Ranch for Boys in St. Francis (1968-71). Donald took special pleasure in the churches he served, to share in the lives and spiritual journey of people was a privilege. He conducted over 200 weddings, 102 in Park Rapids alone. His involvement with young people was a consistent emphasis of his ministry. An ecumenical tent ministry at Riverside; Wednesday meals with MYF programs to forty youth in several churches, developing and leading Conference camping programs such as bike camps, children’s musicals, dramas, and missionary trips. He loved it all. He served on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for eight years, acting as Registrar for Candidacy for four years, also the Board of Evangelism and Camping even into retirement. In each community, Don sought civic engagement. In Park Rapids, he was instrumental in starting the Day Activity Center, the beginnings of the PR youth hockey program with Ted Johnson. He was honored to receive recognition from that program in 2004. Into his 80’s, he taught ping-pong at the PR afterschool program. In Fairbault, Don was instrumental in initiating senior meals, chaired The United Way campaign, and actively participated in the Rotary Club. In Mendota Heights, he extensively helped in the start of a Latino Methodist Church and the U of M Ag Grad program. He deeply believed in justice for all and the commandment of loving the neighbor as oneself. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Hazel Day; his in-laws, George, and Ruby Fairchild; sisters-in-law, Elisa Day, Mary Clark, Barbara Strope, Judy Hansen; brothers-in-law, Jack Anderson, Thomas Hansen, Dick Clark, Stanley Fairchild, Neil Fairchild, Howard Oien; niece, Beth Caswell and nephew, Jimmy Day. Donald is survived by his wife, Virginia Fairchild Day; Children: Annette Day (TonyPaukert), Elizabeth Davis (Thomas) and Douglas Day (Kimberly); Grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Rachelle Davis Taghikhani and Jason (Colton), Jacob Davis, Adam Ward, and Laura (Kinsley and Livvy), Regan Schaff and Elliot, and Kennedy Day. He is also survived by his siblings: Richard Day (Judy), Veneta Anderson, Helen Vulu; one aunt, Violet Risch; sisters-in-law: Oma Fairchild, Ardis Fairchild, and Harriet Oien; brothers-in-law: Donald Fairchild (Judy); beloved cousins and many loved nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorials preferred to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care or Riverside UMC Columbarium.
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