OldArchive / Obituaries

George E. Papa Gay, 96

George E. "Papa" Gay, 96, of Franklin Ave., Tunkhannock, PA, died on Friday morning, July 30, 2004 at Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhannock.

Born Sept. 20, 1907 on Doolittle Hill, Laceyville, he was a son of the late Marble C. and Marion Champion Gay. A 1924 graduate of Tunkhannock High School, he also attended Wyoming Seminary and Penn State University. In 1927, he left Penn State to become a partner in the Gay-Murray Co., Tunkhannock, now Gay's True Value Hardware. He was a Navy veteran of the World War.

Papa Gay, a legend in his own time, was well-known for his friendly advice in the seed department at the store, his love for gardening and his skill as a beekeeper. His ability to tell a story and recite poetry to the young and old was also well-known. He loved to hunt and fish in Wyoming County and in Canada.

He was active in the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair, setting up the Farm Museum, which is now known as the George Gay Farm Museum. He was a charter member of the Wyoming County Historical Society. He loved music and singing, was a member of the Endless Mountains Barbershop Chorus and often played with the Tunkhannock High School band. He was a member of the Tunkhannock United Methodist Church, 50-year member of Temple Lodge No. 248 F&AM, a member of the Dennis Strong American Legion Post and past president of the Tunkhannock Rotary where he was also a Paul Harris Fellow. He was an honorary member of the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Club, a member of the Triton Hose Company and a former member of the Tunkhannock Baseball Association and the Tunkhannock School Board. He also served as a leader with the Wyoming County Boy Scouts at the Cub Scout and Boy Scout levels.

Surviving are three sons, George, Waldorf, MD and Douglas and David, both of Tunkhannock; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Ruth Ralph; two brothers, Marble and Charles and four sisters, Gladys Reed, Marjorie Hughes, Madge Gay and Marion Robinson.

The funeral was held on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. in the Tunkhannock United Methodist Church, Church St., with interment in Sunnyside Cemetery, Tunkhannock. The Sheldon-Kukuchka Funeral Home, Inc., 72 W. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, handled the arrangements.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the George Gay Farm Museum, Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair, 3 Oak Drive, Tunkhannock, PA 18657 or a charity of the donor's choice.

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