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Harold Dean Dadger Mays

1933 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Harold Dean Dadger Mays Obituary
Harold Dean "Dadger" Mays

Fayetteville, AR

Harold Dean "Dadger" Mays, 85, of Fayetteville, AR passed away Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in Fayetteville. He was born March 25, 1933 in Knoxville, TN to Leonard Leon Mays and Mary Elizabeth (Craig) Mays.

He was a retired choral director for South High School as well as South-Young High School in Knoxville, TN. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict as well as a member of Lonsdale United Methodist Church in Knoxville.

In 1959 he began his teaching career at South High School. Until he retired from teaching in 1985, he directed one of the region's finest choral programs, directing stage productions, taking his choruses to compete in regional competitions, placing South Knoxville students in city-wide concerts, and even making a recording of their efforts. While other high school choral directors were content for their students to sing pop songs, "Mays" chose a demanding repertoire of classical and traditional music. Yet, chorus was still the most popular course at South High School. His goal for his students was "to love music, the way I do." These efforts were rewarded publicly when the City of Knoxville proclaimed July 22, 2012 as Harold D. Mays Day.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Lowry Mays

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Paula Mays, one daughter, Tracey Mays Stehlik and husband Wayne of Fayetteville, AR, one son Keith Mays and his partner Leticia Martinez of Denver, CO, one brother, Bruce Mays and wife Betty of Knoxville, TN. He is also survived by his two greatest joys, his granddaughters, Mollie and Maggie Stehlik also of Fayetteville, AR, as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition, he leaves behind hundreds of students, including the South High School Alumni Chorus, all of whom he loved and cherished.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Knoxville, TN.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Lonsdale United Methodist Church music department, PO Box 5565, Knoxville, TN 37928.

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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel on June 10, 2018
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