Married father of 2 dies trying to save friend in Lake St. Clair
(WJBK) - It was supposed to be a day of fun on Lake St. Clair, but Jobbie Nooner turned tragic for one group of friends.
A beloved husband and father died trying to save a friend from drowning.
"You just think it is not real what else can you think," said Mamie Day. "You hope that it is not true."
But on Friday Mamie and her husband Elder Virdest Day, learned it was.
Virdest Day Jr. was with a group of guys on a 27-foot power boat enjoying the popular Jobbie Nooner, when all of a sudden his friend fell into the lake near Metro Beach.
The 44-year-old grabbed a life jacket and jumped in after him.
"We were told he had a life jacket on," Mamie Day said. "I guess it wouldn't fasten or it wasn't the right size. I was told he had a life jacket."
FOX 2: "Did Virdest know how to swim?"
"No," she said.
"If you are talking about thinking of others before he was thinking of himself," Elder Virdest Day said. "That's why I can accept he jumped in before he even considered the danger. He couldn't swim other than the life jacket - he didn't process that at all."
His life jacket became unbuckled and another person jumped in to save them both. But Virdest didn't make it.
The Macomb County Dive Team located his body the next morning just south of Huron Pointe in seven feet of water.
Virdest leaves behind a wife, 5-year-old daughter and 21 year-old son.
"It wasn't just my father, that was my best friend," said his son, Cortez Day. "Words can't even explain the relationship I had with him."
Virdest’ s funeral is scheduled for Saturday inside Southfield's Christian Tabernacle Church where he spent much of his time volunteering with children's youth ministry and with the church sound team.
It's a loss that has hit this family hard. The Days lost their younger son seven years ago from diabetes complications.
As they cope with yet another tragedy, again they lean on their faith and the fact that their son died selflessly trying to help save the life of another.
"When you think of the things we've gone through, the good and the bad - our good and the blessing outweighs all this," said Elder Day.
"It made me feel like any mother - proud," Mamie said. "That's the kind of person he is. He is a helper, he helped everybody."
Virdest Day's parents say they still have a lot of questions. The Macomb County Sheriff's Office is still investigating to try and figure out exactly what happened. No foul play is suspected at this time.