To his family, friends and co-workers, 31-year-old Jacob Mays seemed to have it all.
At the age of 31, Deer Creek Board of Education member Jacob Mays had a list of accomplishments to his name. He graduated early from Deer Creek High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and a master’s degree of Business Administration from Oklahoma State University while working part-time at the Stillwater National Bank. Upon graduating from OSU he moved to Tulsa so his wife, Angie, could work toward her degree while he commuted to Stillwater to what had become his full-time job at the bank.
Later he received a graduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Bank Operations Management. He was employed by MidFirst Bank as senior vice president and director of information technology and worked for MidFirst before his lifeless body was found July 4 in his home.
Mays was remembered Thursday by friends and work associates for his Christian values, volunteerism, intelligence, hard work and sense of humor. His memorial service was at Crossings Community Church.
Mark Shrock, a co-worker he met while working at Stillwater National Bank, said they became friends and Mays had told him that he wanted to have a positive influence in the lives of the people he met during his life.
“I remember Jacob told me one time that one of his philosophies is (and this is roughly paraphrased) ‘To try to make life better or improve things in some way for people he came to know,’” Shrock said, “and I would say that he definitely succeeded in doing that in our friendship.”
Shrock said he respected Jacob and his intellect and abilities.
“I am blessed that the Lord God in His infinite wisdom and sovereign plan allowed my path and Jacob’s path to intersect and at times move in the same direction for a period of about nine years,” Shrock said. “Seven of those years we worked closely with one another. Jacob was always kind, considerate and respectful to me even though he was younger than I and was my boss.”
Shrock said God’s Word was important to Jacob and they discussed many portions of it with each other.
“I will always consider it an honor and a blessing to have known Jacob and consider him a friend and a brother in Christ.”
David Dietz, EVP, Profitability Director at Stillwater National Bank knew Mays when he first started working for the Stillwater bank.
“Jacob came to work for Stillwater National Bank in April 2001 as a part-time help desk support person,” Dietz said. “He would come in and work four hours a day. Some days in the morning, some in the afternoon. He was a college sophomore with a family. It became apparent to me that this young man was no ordinary help desk person. Much more mature than his age. Great attitude. Fun to be around. He was a smart guy that understood technology and wanted to put it to work.
“He figured out new ways to access this and process that. Pretty soon, he was debating his ideas with the older, more established IT professionals in our department. Even at that young age, Jacob was confident and was a good debater. But so were these older IT people who had a lot more experience. I would say over the years, Jacob won more of those debates than he lost. But when he lost, he always jumped in to help with the agreed upon way wholeheartedly. Sometimes when he lost a debate in one of our manager meetings, he would sit back, smile, and tell everyone, ‘OK, I give’ and everyone would have a good laugh.
Dietz said Mays was successful at almost everything he attempted.
“I was beginning to believe Jacob was able to do anything he put his mind to, until we played golf. He could hit the ball a long way, just not real sure which direction it was going. I think he would have been a good golfer if he would have practiced, but he was always working or doing something with Angie, Hannah and Landon.”
Upon college graduation, Stillwater National Bank made sure Mays had a spot on their team, Dietz said.
“He knocked everything out with ease. His desk was always clean, and the bank had great technology in place. But he was putting in a lot of hours. I don’t know when he slept.”
After Angie graduated from school, she found a job in Oklahoma City at Mercy Hospital.
“They moved from Tulsa to Edmond and Jacob worked from our Waterford office,” Dietz said. “He still drove to Stillwater a lot. But in Edmond, he told me how he was getting involved with the Board of Education at Deer Creek. Doing large bond issues, analyzing census data, planning new schools. Again, some great accomplishments from having ideas, wanting to make things work better, and he was willing to put in the time and effort. What a gifted guy he was. I knew it back in 2001 when he was just a sophomore in college. I will miss Jacob, a lot.”
Mays was elected to the Deer Creek Board of Education in 2011 and has served on that board for two years.
Deer Creek Board of Education President Danny Barnes said Mays’ dedication to the Deer Creek students and community was an inspiration for all who worked with him.
Mays and his family were members of Crossings Community Church where Jacob spent countless hours volunteering his abilities to the church.
“Jacob Mays loved God, he loved the church, and he loved to serve using his gifts,” said Contemporary Worship Pastor Josh Edington. “A few years ago, we asked our congregation for help in the media/tech department. Jacob called us and was willing to help wherever there was a need. The longer Jacob was here, the more he grasped the vision of our team. Our goal was to point people to Christ without distraction.
“One time we bought a new piece of equipment that no volunteer seemed to grasp. Jacob took the manual home that week, and mastered this highly technical piece.
“I was so thankful for Jacob. Jacob was a man of integrity. He was considerate of others and he strived for excellence in everything he committed to do.”
Crossings Community Church Pastor Lance Ward, pastor of Congregational Care, told the mourners at Mays’ memorial service Thursday the week had been dark for many, especially the family and friends of Jacob, and with the darkness of his sudden death there has been a deep sense of confusion, disorientation, sadness and pain.
He reminded the mourners, “Jesus Christ is light, and when our hope is in him, His light shines brightly, even in our darkest days. The death of someone we love is never easy. Infinitely more difficult when that death is sudden and tragic. Our emotions run in all directions. We feel undone. We are often overwhelmed with unanswered questions and lingering guilt.
“You will never get over this painful loss, but with God’s grace, you will get through it.”
Jacob Mays was born Aug. 24, 1981, and he died in early July at his Deer Creek home. He is survived by his children, Hannah and Landon, his former wife of 11 years, Angie Mays, his father, A. Curtis Mays, of Kingston, and his aunt, Jayne Craig.
A fund has been established for Mays’ children at Kirkpatrick Bank.
Thursday afternoon Eddie Johnson, the spokesman for the Medical Examiner’s office, said, “Since the cause and manner of death is currently pending, there are no preliminary findings that can be released.”
It may take three to six months before the cause of death can be released, he said.
To his family, friends and co-workers, 31-year-old Jacob Mays seemed to have it all.
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DOC action could save $36.8 million annually
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
Audit recommendations included:
Regional Food Bank receives donation
At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.
Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB
A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.
NAMI classes begin in September
NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.
K9 hot on drug trail
An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.
City spends $1.7 million on ITS
Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
“Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.
Edmond church to host free eye clinic
An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.
July could be coolest in weather record books
With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.
Downtown Master Plan accepted by council
The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
“There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”
UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies
A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.
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