Wilton Kenneth Gay


Wilton Kenneth Gay, 92, died Jan. 4, 2003 in Payson.

Mr. Gay was born in Barry, Texas, Sept. 2, 1910, the second of eight children of Edward and Jacqueline Gay.

He and Mary Coker were married 66 years ago July 2, 1936. His early working career was spent in Corsicana, Texas as a ranch manager, breeding and exhibiting show cattle.

Mr. Gay and family moved to Tempe in August 1946 where he was employed at Arizona State College in the physical plant where he learned his skills as a plumber.

The Gays had their own plumbing business in Tempe for many years, and continued plumbing after "semi-retiring" to Payson in 1972. Eventually his sons assumed the business in Payson.

Mr. Gay was a cancer survivor, having defeated lymphatic cancer in the 1980s.

Mr. Gay was a sportsman all his life, and passed along his love for the outdoors to his children and their families.

In his later years, Gay honed his woodworking skills in building rustic furniture for family, friends and neighbors.

Mr. Gay is survived by his wife, Mary; three sons, Wayne (Cheryl) Gay, David (Karen) Gay and Larry (Antonette) Gay, all of Payson, daughter Beth (Mitch) Drobniewski of Colorado; two sisters, Frances Moore and Elise Brinkley, both of Texas; numerous nieces and nephews; 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild due in February.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters and one brother.

Services, conducted by his grandson Chaplain Kevin Gay, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 at the First Southern Baptist Church in Payson, burial at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park.

Reception for family and friends will follow at the Fellowship Hall at First Southern Baptist Church.

Donations can be made to RTA Hospice, 107 E. Frontier St., Payson, AZ 85541.

Arrangements were handled by Messinger Payson Funeral Home.

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