Maxie Rice Day Jr.
Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019
WHITSETT, N.C. — It is with great sadness that the family of Rice Day wishes to announce his passing on Feb. 26, 2019. His gentle guidance and loving presence will be greatly missed by his family.
Rice, a native of Franklin, Virginia, was born on Dec. 11, 1939. He was educated at Hargrave Military Academy and Chowan College.
He returned to his beloved Franklin to become the owner of Whitley Hardware, which was originally established by his maternal grandfather. He used his position as a small business owner to champion the values of small-town life. He also was the owner of Travelers Rest Restaurant in Suffolk, Virginia. He later became the vice president of sales at Odell Hardware Company in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the owner of Management Recruiters of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
He participated in civic involvement as a member of the Franklin City Council, and subsequently became the first elected mayor of Franklin. He was the president of the Franklin Downtown Development Committee; member of the Franklin Planning Commission; chairman and member of Franklin First; and member of the Franklin Electoral Board.
He was passionate about his service to others through his memberships in the Franklin Masonic Lodge No. 151 A.F. & A.M, the Shriners, the Franklin Jaycees, the Kiwanis Club, the Moose Lodge and the Ruritan Club. He proudly accepted the 1970 Jaycees Distinguished Service Award.
He was a member of the High Street United Methodist Church, and served as the president of the Methodist Men, member and chairman of the HSUMC board and member of the choir.
He was especially proud of his patronage of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He was the founder of the MRI St. Jude Charity Classic golf tournament.
Most importantly, he loved his wife, children and grandchildren unconditionally. His palpable love and support were ever present. He was a loyal friend and an avid outdoorsman. He was a true southern gentleman who embodied the perfect balance of strength and kindness.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Vashti Day, and his daughters, Kelly Day Jernigan and Dr. Temple Day (Marc); grandchildren, Virginia Jernigan, Hayden Jernigan, Camille Jernigan and Libby Dy; siblings, Maxine Hollowell (Freddie), Susan Delk (Bill) and Whit Day.
The funeral will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, in High Street United Methodist Church with the Rev. Nathan Decker officiating. A private burial will follow at Poplar Spring Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday in Wright Funeral Home, Franklin, and suggests that memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.