Donald Mai Sr., 83, of New Hampton, died Thursday, June 30, 2005, at his home.
Donald Bernard Mai, Sr. was born Dec. 8, 1921, at Remsen, the son of Nic and Florentine (Arens) Mai. He was a 1939 graduate of St. Mary's High School in Remsen. On Nov. 10, 1942, he joined the US Army Air Force and served as a Sergeant in the Medical Corp during World War II. On May 15, 1945, Donald was united in marriage to Eta Sitzmann, while he was home on leave from the service, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Neptune, in a double wedding ceremony with Eta's sister, Mildred. Following their marriage the couple moved to Florida and later Texas before Don was called to duty overseas. He was honorably discharged on Jan. 27, 1946.
Following his discharge the couple farmed north of Remsen for 16 years. The couple moved to the farm south of New Hampton in 1962.
Don was a lifelong farmer and always managed to keep busy by gardening, raising pumpkins and squash, tinkering in the shed, cutting wood, hunting especially jackrabbits in the Remsen area, bowling, cracking hickory nuts in the winter, and watching RFDTV, Discovery and the History Channel. He also enjoyed fishing and the summer fishing trips up north for the past 30 years. He was a member of the Holy Family Parish.
Donald is survived by his wife of 60 years Eta; 15 children, Dean (Jane) Mai of Elma, Pam Mai of New Hampton, Pat (Tom) Schwickerath of New Hampton, Lea (Joe) Throndson of New Hampton, Marlene (Jim) Gaffney of Hiawatha, Jeanne (Larry) Friedrich of Elma, Chuck (Darlene) Mai of New Hampton, Cyndy (Bob) Weiglein of New Hampton, Don Jr. (Marilee) Mai of New Hampton, Jay (Judy) Mai of New Hampton, Joy Tenge of Houston, Texas, Nyla (Gary) Recker of New Hampton, Philip (Claudia) Mai of Jacksonville, N.C., Teresa (Ron) Smith of Elma, Gregg (Lori) Mai of New Hampton; 39 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; two sisters Lola Johnson of Westside, and Edna Clark of San Clemente, Calif.; a sister-in-law Margaret Mai of Encino, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Glenn Mai.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 4, at Holy Family Parish-St. Joseph Center in New Hampton with Monsignor Carl Schmitt celebrating the mass. Burial with military honors were in Calvary Cemetery with Donald's six sons, Dean, Chuck, Don Jr., Jay, Philip, and Gregg Mai, serving as casket bearers.
Military graveside rites were accorded by the New Hampton American Legion and VFW Posts. Visitation was Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m. at Conway-Kolbet Funeral Home in New Hampton where there was a 4 p.m. rosary and 7 p.m. Scripture service. Visitation was also one hour prior to services at the church.