“. . . but those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up their wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
William Jiles Day, Jr., the eldest son of Elizabeth G. Day and the late William Jiles Day, Sr. was born on August 29, 1946 at Freedmen’s Hospital, Washington, D.C.
As a child, William was affectionately nicknamed “Butch” by his Day and Gibson family, and in his adult years he was better known as “Bill”.
Reared and nurtured in a Christian home, Bill received his early spiritual training at Dent A.M.E. Chapel in Bladensburg, MD, and Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Beltsville, MD. As stated in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” So it was for Bill. Encouraged by his friend Fletcher, Bill was drawn back to his faith, initially by attending Bible study and later by attending worship services. In 2016 Bill and his wife Maria joined the North Park Apostolic Church. In August 2016, Bill was baptized at his home.
Spending his childhood and teenage years in the communities of Muirkirk and Bladensburg, Bill completed public school at Laurel Senior High School, graduating in 1964. Always athletic, Bill was a championship wrestler and member of the varsity football team. Upon graduation, William enrolled at the University of Maryland.
Not waiting to be drafted, in September 1965, Bill enlisted in the United States Marine Corps’ delayed entry program. With this decision, Bill began a challenging journey that would forever shape and change his life, in addition to taking him far away from the small rural/suburban communities he’d known in the early chapters of his life. The first leg of this journey began in October, when he joined Charlie Company PLT 1000 MCRD at Parris Island, SC for basic Charlie Company PLT 1000 MCRD at Parris Island, SC for basic training. After basic training, he was posted to Camp Le Jeune, NC for infantry training, followed in March 1966 to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Camp, Pendleton, CA in preparation for deployment to South Vietnam.
From April 1966-May 1967 Bill faced his first armed combat with Alpha Company, 1st BN 3rd, MAR 3rd DIV in the divisive Vietnam conflict. Following Vietnam, his next duty stations were in Okinawa, Japan and Quantico, VA.
In October 1967 until August 1969, Bill was stationed in Subic Bay, Philippines with the Separate Guard Company. While in the Philippines, Bill met and married his first wife, Maria Louisa, also known as “Sonia”. From this union they were blessed with three children, Michael, Victoria, and Rosemarie. Returning to the states with his wife and son, Michael, Bill left his family in Maryland, travelled to Camp Pendleton from where he again shipped out to Vietnam. During this military tour, Bill served with the India Company 3rd BN 26th MAR, MAR DIV and later BRAVO Company, 1st BN, 1st MAR 3rd MAR DIV from October 1969 to October 1970. A young man of great strength and courage, Bill was awarded the following medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons for his bravery in combat:
Combat Action Ribbon, Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing “V”, Presidential Unit Citation Meritorious Unit Citation (2nd Award), Good Conduct Medal (5th Award), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (2nd Award), Republic Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic Vietnam Meritorious Unit , Letter of Appreciation (2nd Award), Citation Civil Action Star Meritorious Mast (4th Award), Republic Vietnam Meritorious Unit, Humanitarian Award, Citation Cross of Gallantry, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2nd Award)
Following his last Vietnam tour of duty, Bill returned to the States and was stationed at Camp Le Jeune, NC from 1970-1972. He also received six weeks of recruiter training at Parris Island in 1972. Following his training, he and his family settled in Bridgeton/Vineland, NJ for three years (1972-1975) within the Recruiting Station Philadelphia, 4th Marine Corps District. He then spent a year in Okinawa, Japan; from there he returned to Subic Bay, Philippines with his family from September 1976 until August 1979. Returning home, he was stationed at Camp Pendleton until 1984. In 1982 Bill enrolled in the first sergeant’s admin course, and upon achieving the status of 1st Sergeant, he was assigned to the Inspector Instructor Staff in Gary, IN. Bill received an honorable discharge in 1984 and transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.
Vowing to never again live in a cold climate, with the completion of his career in the USMC, Bill relocated to San Diego, CA; in San Diego he pursued a career in law enforcement with the City of San Diego Police Department. After eighteen years with the police department, Bill retired; he was then employed with the CCA as a prison guard; employed there for seven years, he retired on disability in 2016.
Throughout his life, as a son, brother, husband and father, Bill’s devotion to family was limitless. He was a positive role model for his three children; Bill led by example. In 1996 Bill married Maria M. Batasin. With their marriage, Bill’s life entered a new chapter; with his children and hers, they formed a loving “combined” family. Bill enjoyed the company of family and friends; he was the essential “family provider”, one might even call him a workaholic. Nevertheless, Bill always found time to royally entertain visiting family and friends. A diehard Washington Redskin fan, Bill was part of a Monday night football social club for many years. He was also well known for his annual Halloween parties.
The final chapter of Bill’s story begins with his illness. Bill was a man of great strength and courage; he was a compassionate man, as well as a devoted and loving one. During his prolonged illness, Bill continued to exhibit all of these attributes; he endured all his adversities with courage and patience.
Quietly, on May 2, 2017, God called Bill home, surrounded by his loving wife and family—all of whom provided such compassionate care during his illness. He leaves to mourn his passing, his devoted wife, Maria Magdelene Day; eight children—Michael (Rebecca), Victoria (Vernon), Rosemarie, Robert, Mike M (Jeannie), David, Marcella (Oniel)and Eric aka Joey; his beloved mother, Elizabeth G. Day; devoted sister, Brenda Pickett (Willie); brother Phillip Day (Lillian); (thirteen grandchildren — Victor, Reign, Justice, Jayden, Mike M, Alicia, Mauricio, Jasmine, Merceis, Orendo, Lina, Ogianni, and Onassis; sister-in-law, Rosalinda Batasin, brothers-in-law Florendo and Rosalito Batasin; and host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family expresses a special heartfelt thanks to his son Joey for his love and care, as well that of his good friend Fletcher West.