On January 23, 2018, Heaven gained a special angel in John Lee Mays Sr. He was born March 15, 1941 in Lee, Florida to his proud mother, the Clemmie (Williams) Mays Graham. After completing his education he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963 where he served three years during the Vietnam Era performing duties as an Auto Maintenance Technician. He was awarded the National Defense Service and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals (Dominican Republic) and Expert Rifle and Marksman Pistol badges. After an honorable discharge John returned to Madison, FL and embarked on a career that became his life’s passion, metal fabrication and welding. He worked a few years for several companies honing his skills and rapidly became a master welder. Shortly thereafter, John made one of his best decisions when he stepped out on faith and became self-employed. It was during this time that he earned the nick named “Scrap-Iron”, as one of the most well-known welders in Madison County. His reputation would proceed him for more than 40 years. John accepted Christ at an early age and worshipped with several religious establishments throughout the county. John was a father figure, big brother and friend to many. He regularly fed the hungry, quenched the dry mouth of the thirsty and provided shelter to the homeless while imparting love and wisdom to all who frequented his backyard, that became known as the “Back-Yard University (BYU)”.
John Lee Mays Sr. leaves to treasure his memory his former wife Annie Pearl (Davis) Reddick; three sons: Johnnie B. (Sandy) Givens of Madison, FL and their children Marcus and Latosha (Rashaud); Henry Lee (Tracey) Mays of Jacksonville, FL and their children Tamara, Jeremy, and Trachele; John Lee (Joyce) Mays Jr. of Madison, FL and their children Caleesha, Tatyana, and John III; two daughters: Cassandra R. Mays of Madison, FL and her children Michael (Sherniece), Ahkeemium (Simone), and Tamaria; Shauntay Williams of Madison, FL and her son Sanchez; six brothers: Ulysses Mays, Carl (Josie) Graham, Jimmie L. Graham, Charlie (Ceola) Graham, Joe (Marilyn) Graham Jr., and Rueben (Lucrecia) Graham all of Madison, FL; three sisters: Susan M. Wesley, Betty A. Graham and Mary R. Graham all of Madison, FL; two aunts: Bessie Monlyn and Mae Beaulah Sapp of Madison, FL; one uncle Charlie Rae (Carolyn) Williams of Jacksonville, FL; 12 Great-Grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family and friends.
John Lee Mays Sr. was preceded in death by his mother, one sister, Margaret Loraine Graham and long-time, dear friend Mary Alice Bryant.