Ludie Josephine Gay

Female, #18481
Father*William Henry Gay (11 Nov 1878 - 20 Oct 1918)
Mother*Margaret Jeanette Reynolds (c 1881 - )

Family

Hugh Wilson English (27 Nov 1905 - 5 Oct 1961)
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Kenneth M. Thrash

Male, #18482, (circa 1906 - )
Father*Jesse Little Thrash (c 1880 - )
Mother*Leila Gay (26 Dec 1879 - Feb 1962)
Birth*circa 1906 Kenneth was born at Georgia circa 1906. 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Kenneth, Jesse and William was listed as a son in Jesse Little Thrash's household on the 1930 Census at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia.1 
Residence*1978 Kenneth resided at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia, in 1978. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited22 Aug 2004

Citations

  1. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    Census Place: Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia; Roll: 364; Page: ; Enumeration District: 122.

Jesse Little Thrash Jr.

Male, #18483, (31 May 1912 - 15 Jun 1988)
Father*Jesse Little Thrash (c 1880 - )
Mother*Leila Gay (26 Dec 1879 - Feb 1962)
Birth*31 May 1912 Jesse was born at Georgia on 31 May 1912.1 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Kenneth, Jesse and William was listed as a son in Jesse Little Thrash's household on the 1930 Census at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia.2 
Death of MotherFeb 1962 His mother Leila Gay died in Feb 1962 at Decatur, DeKalb Co., Georgia
Death*15 Jun 1988 He died at Miami, Dade Co., Florida, on 15 Jun 1988 at age 76.1 
Biography* Mrs. W. B. (M. Louise) Broach, in a 27 Sep 1978 letter, wrote that Jessie was blind. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited22 Aug 2004

Citations

  1. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at Ancestry.com.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/vital/ssdi/main.htm
  2. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    Census Place: Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia; Roll: 364; Page: ; Enumeration District: 122.

Lieutenant General William Gay Thrash

Male, #18484, (17 Sep 1916 - 4 Jul 2011)
Father*Jesse Little Thrash (c 1880 - )
Mother*Leila Gay (26 Dec 1879 - Feb 1962)
Birth*17 Sep 1916 William was born at Tifton, Tift Co., Georgia, on 17 Sep 1916. 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Kenneth, Jesse and William was listed as a son in Jesse Little Thrash's household on the 1930 Census at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia.1 
Marriage*say 1939 He married Virginia Merryman say 1939.2 
World War II*between 1942 and 1945 He served in World War II between 1942 and 1945. 
Korean War*between 1952 and 1953 He served in the Korean War between 1952 and 1953. 
Death of MotherFeb 1962 His mother Leila Gay died in Feb 1962 at Decatur, DeKalb Co., Georgia
Viet Nam War*between 1969 and 1972 He served in the Viet Nam War between 1969 and 1972. 
Residence*1978 William resided at Newport Beach, Orange Co., California, in 1978. 
Death of Spouse21 Mar 1997 His wife Virginia Merryman died on 21 Mar 1997.2 
ResidenceAug 2004 William resided at Hilton Head Island, Beaufort Co., South Carolina, in Aug 2004. 
Biography* From: Monaghan
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2016 8:39 AM
To: lewgriffin@cox.net

Hi Lew – This is Susan Monaghan, and I corresponded with you back in May 2006. While surfing the web for additional info on LtGen William Gay Thrash, I read through your biography on him, and noticed you cited an e-mail from me as a reference for some info on LtGen Thrash. I would like to give you updated contact information for me and the VMD-154 website. You may recall that Thrash was assigned to this squadron as a Major in Oct 1942 and was stationed in the New Hebrides with VMD-154 through 1943.

In 2008, my internet service provider changed, and I was unable to access and service my original squadron website. Subsequently, I have started a new website for VMD-154 and continue to add more information as time permits. The new homepage does contain a link to the original website; however, I plan to duplicate the pages from the old site and incorporate them on the new one.

The new website link is: https://sites.google.com/site/vmd154/

My updated e-mail contact for the site is: vmd154@comcast.net
....
Susan J. Monaghan
Historian and Webmaster
USMC Squadron VMD-154

According to Mrs. W. B. (M. Louise Culpepper) Broach in a 27 Sep 1978 letter wrote: Bill Gay was a flyer in W. W. II. Was shot down and became prisoner of war for several years.
     According to Mrs. J. P. (Dorothy Gay) Poole in an 18 Nov 1978 letter, he is a retired General.

From http://www.usmc.mil:

Lieutenant General William G. Thrash, a Naval Aviator, retired from active duty, June 30, 1972. General Thrash earned a Silver Star Medal and a Legion of Merit during the Korean Conflict, and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct as senior United Nations officer in a Chinese Communist prisoner of war camp.

While serving as Tactical Officer of Marine Corps Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, General Thrash, then a lieutenant colonel, was engaged in a reconnaissance flight over enemy antiaircraft positions in Korea on December 21, 1951. When his plane was struck by enemy fire, the colonel parachuted from the ship after radioing his base that he was bailing out. Taken prisoner after landing in the heavily fortified enemy area, he remained a prisoner for almost two years. The citation accompanying his second Legion of Merit states:

"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the Government of the United States as senior United Nations officer in first and second companies, Prisoner of War Camp 2, Ping-chong-ni, North Korea, during the period 15 May 1952 to 1 September 1953. Although warned by the Chinese that any attempt on his part to exert his personal influence on other prisoners would be dealt with by disciplinary action and also being aware that the senior officer was under continually close surveillance, Lieutenant Colonel Thrash immediately took concrete steps to organize the prisoners on a military basis and to tighten discipline among them. "By his personal integrity, exemplary conduct, and wise leadership, he quickly won the respect and support of all the prisoners of various nationalities who comprised the camp's inmates. His actions were directly responsible for the good relations among all the prisoners, for the cohesive resistance to communist efforts to cause the defection of the individuals to the camp, and for the maintenance of military discipline in the camp.

"As a result of his outstanding contributions as senior United Nations officer in the camp, he was placed in solitary confinement for a period of eight months and subjected to various types of maltreatment. Lieutenant Colonel Thrash's conduct throughout his long period of imprisonment gained the admiration and warm regard of the prisoners an was in keepinq with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


William Gay Thrash was born in Tifton, Ga., Sept. 17, 1916, the son of Jesse L. and Leila Gay Thrash. Graduating from Boys' High School in Atlanta, Ga., in 1934, he subsequently received his BS degree from Georgia School of Technology in 1939. During his senior year, he was a member of Georgia Tech's famed gridiron squad, the Yellow Jackets. Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on July 14, 1939, Second Lieutenant Thrash was assigned to the Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard until June 1940, when he was transferred to Camp Elliott, Calif. He remained at Camp Elliott serving in various assignments as an engineering officer until transferred to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla., in September 1941 for flight training.

Promoted to first lieutenant in January 1942, he received his wings as a Naval Aviator on March 18 of the same year. He was promoted to captain that May, then remained at Pensacola until September 1942 as an instructor. Captain Thrash joined the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in October and went overseas with the Wing in November. While overseas, he was promoted to major in April 1943. During the period June to September 1943, he flew more than 100 combat reconnaissance missions over enemy territory in the Gilbert-Solomon islands area, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and five Air Medals. Returning to the United States in January 1944, he was assigned to Marine Fleet Air, West Coast, until June 1945 when he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. Following another tour of overseas duty, where he saw service at Pearl Harbor, Saipan, and Okinawa, he was assigned to the Division of Aviation at Headquarters Marine Corps in January 1946. That October, he began a two-year assignment in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington.

In August 1948, he entered the Naval War College at Newport, R. I. Upon graduation from its logistics course in May 1949, he was assigned as an instructor in the Aviation Section, Marine Corps Schoota, Quantico, Va.

Transferred to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in June 1951, Lieutenant Colonel Thrash earned the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action, Oct. 25, 1951, as Tactical Officer and pilot of a plane in Marine Aircraft Group 12. Encountering 24 hostile jets while leading his flight of 11 Corsairs on a strike against a strategic enemy supply point, he led his flight in an aggressive attack, forcing the enemy planes to break off the engagement and retire. On reaching the target area, he succeeded in scoring direct hits, inflicting serious damage on the enemy.

He was also awarded his first Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and his sixth and seventh Air Medals prior to being captured and imprisoned by the Chinese Communists in December 1951. Following his liberation in September 1953, he returned to the United States and was subsequently assigned as Executive Officer, and later, Commander of Marine Wing Service Group 37, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Miami. From May 1955 to July 1958, he was attached to the Division of Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, serving consecutively as Assistant Head, and Head, Plans and Readiness Branch, and Deputy Assistant Director of Aviation. While there, he was promoted to colonel in November 1955. In June 1959, he completed the National War College, Washington, D. C.

That July, Colonel Thrash reported to the Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, as Commanding Officer of Marine Aircraft Group 13. During this assiqnment, he led a trans-Pacific Flight of Marine light attack jet aircraft in a record-making first flight from Kaneohe, Hawaii, to Alameda, Calif.

In August 1960, he was named Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Brigade at Kaneohe. He served in this capacity until May 1962 when he was deployed to Thailand as Chief of Staff of the 3d Marine Expeditionary Unit. He returned from Thailand in August 1962 and assumed duty as Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Aircraft, FMF, Pacific, Iwakuni, Japan. The following June, he arrived in the United States, and assumed duty at Norfolk, Va., as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic.

In March 1964, he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned as Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for service during this assignment. Following his promotion to major general, Jan 19, 1967 he assumed duties the following month, as Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area/Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Station, E1 Toro, Calif and earned his third Legion of Merit.

Major General Thrash was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in July 1969, for a one year tour of duty as Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in the I Corps Tactical Zone, and earned the Distinguished Service Medal for his outstanding performance of duty during this tour.

Upon his return to the United States in July 1970, he reported to the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, for duty as Deputy for Education/Director, Education Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command. MajGen Thrash was nominated for promotion to three-star rank and his nomination was approved by President Nixon in February 1971. On March 12, 1971, it was confirmed by the Senate and he received his third star upon assignment as commanding General, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico. He served in the latter capacity until he retired from active duty, June 30, 1972. For exceptionally meritorious service during his last tour of duty while stationed at Quantico, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal.

A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal with one Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Silver Star Medal; the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" and Gold Stars in lieu of second and third awards; the Distinguished Flying Cross; seven Air Medals; the Purple Heart; the Navy Commendation Medal; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal (Thailand); the American Defense Service Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze star; the American Campaign Medal; the
World War II Victory Medal; the Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp; the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars; the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star; the Korean Presidential Unit Citation; the United Nations Service Medal; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

LtGen Thrash and his wife, the former Virginia Merryman of Atlanta, Ga., have two sons, William Gay Jr., and Ralph Merryman Thrash, both Marine Corps officers. LtGen and Mrs. Thrash will reside in Newport Beach, Calif.

From Susan Monaghan, Susan.Monaghan@insightbb.com, May 2006:

I saw your listing for Lt. Gen. William Gay Thrash on Ancestry.com and wanted to pass on some additional information.

I am the webmaster for USMC aerial reconnaissance squadron, VMD-154. From1942-1943, William Gay Thrash was assigned to VMD-154 and was stationed on Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu).

I would like to invite you to visit our website to read about the squadron, and there you will find photos and mention of Wm. G. Thrash on several pages (links listed below).

Photos:
Squadron officers (front row, 3rd from left http://home.insightbb.com/~vmd154.reunion.assn/
Plane Crew 2 (back row center) http://home.insightbb.com/~vmd154.reunion.assn/crews1-4.html

Name mention:
Air Medal Citation http://home.insightbb.com/~vmd154.reunion.assn/Citations2.html
Timeline (1 Feb 1944 & 2 Jun 1944) http://home.insightbb.com/~vmd154.reunion.assn/Timeline.html
Feb 1943 Muster Roll http://home.insightbb.com/~vmd154.reunion.assn/Feb1943Muster.html
Jul 1943 Muster Roll http://home.insightbb.com/~vmd154.reunion.assn/Jul1943Muster.html

On the web:
2004 news article http://www.lowcountrynow.com/stories/111104/LOCveteran.shtml
2004 photo for above article http://www.lowcountrynow.com/images/111104/full_vet.jpg
Fixed Wing Operatiosn (1970-1971) http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:FWgsAmbuyjYJ:www.ehistory.com/vietnam/books/vietnamization/0270.cfm+general+William+thrash&hl=en
Obit of William G. Guss http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:JGjtFnDCb9YJ:www.savannahnow.com/stories/092300/OBITSindex.shtml+william+g.+thrash,+obituary&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

Major Thrash is listed on Roster B of planes and crews which returned to the US. Maj. Thrash returned to the United States on a PB4Y-1 Liberator, plane # 31959. I don't have the date that this plane returned, however, might be able to get that from another crew member on the flight. I can tell you that my father was listed on roster A, and his plane (plane #31943) and crew departed Espiritu Santo on 16 Dec 1943 and arrived at Hammer Field in Fresno on 18 Dec 1943.

Lt. Gen. Thrash's first wife, Virginia M. Thrash, b.17 Oct 1918, d. 21 Mar 1997, is buried in Beaufort Nat. Cem., SC. His current wife is Margie Wooton Guss Thrash.

Hope this info is helpful to you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Susan Monaghan
Historian and Webmaster
USMC Squadron VMD-154. 
Death*4 Jul 2011 He died at Hilton Head Island, Beaufort Co., South Carolina, on 4 Jul 2011 at age 94.3 

Family 1

Virginia Merryman (17 Oct 1918 - 21 Mar 1997)
Marriage*say 1939 He married Virginia Merryman say 1939.2 

Family 2

Margie Wooten
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited16 Dec 2016

Citations

  1. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    Census Place: Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia; Roll: 364; Page: ; Enumeration District: 122.
  2. E-mail written 27 May 2006 to Lew Griffin from Susan Monaghan, e-mail address.
  3. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at Ancestry.com.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/vital/ssdi/main.htm

Marian Louise Gay

Female, #18485, (14 Aug 1916 - 17 Mar 1974)
Father*Joseph Roswell Gay (5 Dec 1880 - 10 Jan 1968)
Mother*Ella Kathleen Dunlap (22 Apr 1891 - 12 Jan 1957)
Birth*14 Aug 1916 Marian was born at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 14 Aug 1916. 
Death of Mother12 Jan 1957 Her mother Ella Kathleen Dunlap died on 12 Jan 1957 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Death of Father10 Jan 1968 Her father Joseph Roswell Gay died on 10 Jan 1968 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Death*17 Mar 1974 She died at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 17 Mar 1974 at age 57. 
Burial*circa 19 Mar 1974 Her body was interred circa 19 Mar 1974 at Gay City Cemetery, Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Biography* A sister, Mrs. J. P. (Dorothy Gay) Poole, recorded the name as "Marian Louise Gay" on a Family Group Sheet. Eleanor Culpepper Willingham noted in her Gay Cemetery records that Marian died in a house fire. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited20 Jan 2005

Kathryn Roswell Gay

Female, #18486, (27 Jun 1922 - 20 Feb 1984)
Father*Joseph Roswell Gay (5 Dec 1880 - 10 Jan 1968)
Mother*Ella Kathleen Dunlap (22 Apr 1891 - 12 Jan 1957)
Birth*27 Jun 1922 Kathryn was born on 27 Jun 1922. 
Married Name5 Sep 1940  As of 5 Sep 1940, her married name was Woodall. 
Death of Mother12 Jan 1957 Her mother Ella Kathleen Dunlap died on 12 Jan 1957 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Married Name1958  As of 1958, her married name was Frederick. 
Death of Father10 Jan 1968 Her father Joseph Roswell Gay died on 10 Jan 1968 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Residence* Kathryn resided at Wilmington, New Castle Co., Delaware
Death*20 Feb 1984 She died on 20 Feb 1984 at age 61.1 

Family 1

John H. Woodall
Children

Family 2

Paul Frederick
Child
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited19 Jul 2003

Citations

  1. E-mail written 2003-20011 to Lew Griffin from Gayle Louise Poole, Atlanta, GA, e-mail address.

Dorothy Elizabeth Gay

Female, #18487, (19 Sep 1924 - 4 May 2011)
Father*Joseph Roswell Gay (5 Dec 1880 - 10 Jan 1968)
Mother*Ella Kathleen Dunlap (22 Apr 1891 - 12 Jan 1957)
Birth*19 Sep 1924 Dorothy was born at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 19 Sep 1924. 
Marriage*26 Aug 1942 She married James Parrott Poole at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 26 Aug 1942 at age 17. 
Married Name26 Aug 1942  As of 26 Aug 1942, her married name was Poole. 
Birth of Son8 May 1954 Her son James Poole was born on 8 May 1954 at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia
Death of Son9 May 1954 Her son James Poole died on 9 May 1954. 
Birth of Son22 Jul 1955 Her son Gary Poole was born on 22 Jul 1955 at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia
Death of Son23 Jul 1955 Her son Gary Poole died on 23 Jul 1955 at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia
Death of Mother12 Jan 1957 Her mother Ella Kathleen Dunlap died on 12 Jan 1957 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Death of Father10 Jan 1968 Her father Joseph Roswell Gay died on 10 Jan 1968 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Residence*1985 Dorothy resided at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia, in 1985. 
Biography* Dorothy was a portrait artist. 
Death of Spouse7 Jan 2009 Her husband James Parrott Poole died on 7 Jan 2009 at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia.1 
Death*4 May 2011 She died at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia, on 4 May 2011 at age 86.1 

Family

James Parrott Poole (25 Jan 1920 - 7 Jan 2009)
Marriage*26 Aug 1942 She married James Parrott Poole at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 26 Aug 1942 at age 17. 
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited16 May 2011

Citations

  1. E-mail written 2003-20011 to Lew Griffin from Gayle Louise Poole, Atlanta, GA, e-mail address.

William Franklin Gay II

Male, #18488, (3 Oct 1927 - 18 May 1985)
Father*Joseph Roswell Gay (5 Dec 1880 - 10 Jan 1968)
Mother*Ella Kathleen Dunlap (22 Apr 1891 - 12 Jan 1957)
Birth*3 Oct 1927 William was born at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 3 Oct 1927. 
Death of Mother12 Jan 1957 His mother Ella Kathleen Dunlap died on 12 Jan 1957 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Death of Father10 Jan 1968 His father Joseph Roswell Gay died on 10 Jan 1968 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Photographed*say 1970 He was photographed say 1970 at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia.
William Franklin Gay II
Death*18 May 1985 He died at Ormond Beach, Volusia Co., Florida, on 18 May 1985 at age 57. 
Burial* His body was interred at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Biography* Eleanor Culpepper Willingham wrote in a 13 Jul 1984 letter that "W. F. is in terminal stage of cancer. He had surgery about a year ago and continues to be hospitalized at intervals." According to the death notice that appeared in the Meriwether Vindicator , Friday, May 24, 1985, Mr. Gay was a Navy veteran of World War II. He was the mayor of Gay, a town which was named for his grandfather, William F. Gay and he served as the postmaster of Gay for 30 years. He was also the president of W.F. Gay & Co., and a farmer.
      The following article about the "Cotton Pickin' Fair," which Bill and Joann Gay founded, is from the Lagrange Daily News for Thursday, 12 Sep 1985: Fair To Honor Founder Gay The 23rd "Cotton Pickin' Fair" in Gay will be held Oct. 5-6, and will be dedicated to the memory of its co-founder, Bill Gay, who died last May. More than 300 exhibits will be at the fair, which attracted some 75,000 visitors last year. Antique dealers from as far away as Kentucky and as near as Warm Springs will occupy the barns and warehouses, along with a variety of food concession stands. The arts will range from oils, watercolors, acrylics to paper and fiber arts such as quilting, fine sewing, needlepoint, embroidery, doll making, as well as leather crafts, glass, copper and Pewter, basketry and all the decorative arts. Bill and Joann Gay founded the Cotton Pickin' Fair in 1972 to bolster the failing economy of the Gay area. Cotton was not only no longer King, it wasn't even the Jack of any trades anymore. Taking the old family cotton gin complex the couple turned it into an efficiently run fair twice a year, the first weekends in May and October. Not only did it help the exhibitors but the influx of tourists benefitted the entire surrounding counties and gave local non profit organizations an opportunity to make needed funds. To show their appreciation to Bill Gay, the exhibitors have contributed to a fund to raise a memorial stone on the grounds in his memory. This will be unveiled at 9:30 a.m. at the church service always held on the fairgrounds by the official fair chaplain, Kenneth Dobbs. Bill Gay died at the age of 57 on May 18 and was buried in the family cemetery on the grounds of Cotton Pickin' Fair.
      The following obituary, from an unknown, apparently a Columbus, GA source, was dated Monday, 26 May 1985: Ex-Mayor, Postmaster Of Gay, Dies Gay, Ga. -- William Franklin Gay II, 57, who founded the Cotton Pickin' Antique, Arts and Crafts Fair and was mayor and postmaster of Gay, died Saturday at Ormond Memorial Hospital in Ormond Beach, Fla., after a long illness. Mr. Gay, father of a Columbus man, had been vacationing in Ormond Beach. The funeral will he 2 p.m. today at Gay United Methodist Church, with burial in the Gay family Cemetery. Mr. Gay was born Oct. 3, 1927, in Gay, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Gay. He attended Gay-Oakland School, graduated from Georgia Military High School in 1944, attended Georgia Tech and was a 1949 graduate of the University of Georgia. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. He was president of Alpha Tau Omega at the University of Georgia, vice president of the Interfraternity Council and Economic Society and a member of Alpha Kappa Psi commerce society. He majored in business administration. Returning to Gay, he worked for the family business, then called Gay and Keith Inc., and at the post office. He had been postmaster for 30 years and mayor for the past eight years in the town named for his grandfather, William F. Gay. He also was president of W. F. Gay & Co. and a farmer. He was a director of the Greenville Banking Co., a member of the board of directors of the Meriwether Historical Society, Meriwether Cattlemen's Association, Meriwether County Chamber of Commerce, West Central Georgia Tourism Association and Greenville Masonic Lodge 321. He was former chairman of the Greenville school board, the board of directors of Flint River Academy and the Meriwether Industrial Development Commission and a former president of the Flint River Academy PTA. He founded the Cotton Pickin' Fair in 1973 on the site of his father's cotton gin. He received the 1983 Meriwether County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Community Service Award. He was a member, trustee and Sunday school teacher of Gay United Methodist Church. Survivors other than his wife, Joann, include a son, Joseph R. Gay II of Columbus; three daughters, Ellen McEwen of Lumberton, N.C., and Elizabeth W. Gay and A. Kathryn Gay, both of Atlanta; a sister, Mrs. Dorothy G. Poole of Atlanta; a granddaughter. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Gay United Methodist Church, Gay, Ga. 30218.
      The following is from the Meriwether Vindicator 25 Oct 1985: The following tribute to Bill Gay was given by Rep. Richard Ray on October 11 from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. It has been made a part of the Congressional Record for that date. On October 5 and 6 the 23rd Cotton-Pickin' Fair was held in Gay. Over the years this twice yearly fair has become a big event in Georgia, attracting visitors and exhibitors from throughout the South. There was a change at this month's fair, however, which was noticed by all who attended. For the first time, the fair's founder, Bill Gay, was not present. In May of this year, Bill Gay died after an extended illness. Although he wasn't in Gay on Saturday and Sunday for the festival, his memory and presence was strongly felt by those who have worked with him to organize the event over the years. Bill was always active in protecting the interests and concerns of the people of Gay, and he served as mayor of the town for 8 years. With the decline in the value of cotton--one of Gay's major products -- Bill and his wife, Joanne looked for a way to bolster the community's falling economy. By 1972, they had formulated a plan and put it into action--and the Cotton-Pickin' Fair was born. The couple turned the old family cotton gin complex into a fairground. Twice a year, the first week in May and October, the area is open for an enormous fair, featuring exhibitions including crafts, food, antiques, personal Items and household goods. Almost anything anyone wants can be found in Gay during the Cotton Pickin' Fair. But the thousands of visitors who make their way to this rural Georgia town each year are impressed by more than simply the site of the fair. The most notable aspect of the Cotton Pickin' Fair is the efficiency with which it's run. The area is well-laid out; and every possible circumstance is planned for. A visit to the Cotton-Pickin' Fair is a pleasant and enjoyable day, and the planning done by Bill and Joanne Gay has made it that way. This weekend, at the church service held on the fairgrounds, a memorial stone honoring Ball Gay was unveiled. Contributions for this tribute came from the exhibitors who have worked with Bill Gay over the years. There is no location more fitting to place a memorial to Bill Gay that the site of the fair he planned, organized and loved. The Cotton Pickin' Fair will continue even though Bill Gay is gone, for his hard work has established its reputation through the South. Although the stone will be a reminder to new visitors of the man who dreamed of this event, those of us who have been going to Gay for years will think of Bill Gay each time we join the thousands of others who come to the Cotton Pickin' Fair to enjoy a day in the sunshine In one of the most beautiful areas of rural Georgia. 

Family

Joann Wright
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited21 Sep 2004

Joseph Gay

Male, #18489, (circa 1910 - )
Father*Benjamin Walton Gay III (6 Jul 1885 - 3 Oct 1944)
Mother*Dixon Burke (c 1888 - )
Birth*circa 1910 Joseph was born circa 1910. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Ernest H. Estes Jr.

Male, #18490, (circa 1906 - )
Father*Ernest H. Estes (c 1884 - )
Mother*Sara Elizabeth Gay (9 Jun 1887 - 2 Aug 1957)
Birth*circa 1906 Ernest was born circa 1906. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited26 Jul 1999

Wilbur Gay Estes

Male, #18491, (circa 1908 - )
Father*Ernest H. Estes (c 1884 - )
Mother*Sara Elizabeth Gay (9 Jun 1887 - 2 Aug 1957)
Birth*circa 1908 Wilbur was born circa 1908. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited22 Aug 2004

Marion Estes

Male, #18492, (circa 1910 - )
Father*Ernest H. Estes (c 1884 - )
Mother*Sara Elizabeth Gay (9 Jun 1887 - 2 Aug 1957)
Birth*circa 1910 Marion was born circa 1910. 
Residence* Marion resided at New York
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

John Warner Deam

Male, #18493, (6 Dec 1910 - 4 Jan 1945)
Father*James Warner Deam (c 1887 - )
Mother*Annira Culpepper Gay (23 Nov 1889 - 6 Mar 1976)
Birth*6 Dec 1910 John was born on 6 Dec 1910. 
Marriage*say 1932 He married Harriet Evans Wellington say 1932. 
Death*4 Jan 1945 He died on 4 Jan 1945 at age 34
Battle of the Bulge, WW II. 
Burial* His body was interred at Gay City Cemetery, Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
Biography* Eleanor Culpepper Willingham noted in her Gay Cemetery records that John served in World War II (1st Lt 513 Prcht(?) Inf. 17 ABH Div). 

Family

Harriet Evans Wellington (say 1912 - )
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited3 Jun 2012

Emma Gay Deam

Female, #18494, (circa 1914 - )
Father*James Warner Deam (c 1887 - )
Mother*Annira Culpepper Gay (23 Nov 1889 - 6 Mar 1976)
Birth*circa 1914 Emma was born circa 1914. 
Marriage*circa 1935 She married William H. Davison circa 1935. 
Married Namecirca 1935  As of circa 1935, her married name was Davison. 
Residence*1978 Emma resided at Lakemont, Rabun Co., Georgia, in 1978. 

Family

William H. Davison (circa 1913 - )
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited25 Apr 2001

William H. Davison

Male, #18495, (circa 1913 - )
Birth*circa 1913 William was born circa 1913. 
Marriage*circa 1935 He married Emma Gay Deam circa 1935. 
Biography* William was a pilot in the U. S. Navy. 

Family

Emma Gay Deam (circa 1914 - )
Children
Last Edited25 Apr 2001

William Davison Jr.

Male, #18496
Father*William H. Davison (c 1913 - )
Mother*Emma Gay Deam (c 1914 - )
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited26 Jul 1999

Rocky Davison

Male, #18497
Father*William H. Davison (c 1913 - )
Mother*Emma Gay Deam (c 1914 - )
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Diane Davison

Female, #18498
Father*William H. Davison (c 1913 - )
Mother*Emma Gay Deam (c 1914 - )

Family

John Isaakson
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

John Isaakson

Male, #18499

Family

Diane Davison
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Harriet Evans Wellington

Female, #18500, (say 1912 - )
Birth*say 1912 Harriet was born say 1912. 
Marriage*say 1932 She married John Warner Deam say 1932. 
Married Namesay 1932  As of say 1932, her married name was Deam. 

Family

John Warner Deam (6 Dec 1910 - 4 Jan 1945)
Children
Last Edited3 Jun 2012

John Deam Jr.

Male, #18501
Father*John Warner Deam (6 Dec 1910 - 4 Jan 1945)
Mother*Harriet Evans Wellington (s 1912 - )
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited26 Jul 1999

Harriet Deam

Female, #18502
Father*John Warner Deam (6 Dec 1910 - 4 Jan 1945)
Mother*Harriet Evans Wellington (s 1912 - )
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Connie Deam

Female, #18503
Father*John Warner Deam (6 Dec 1910 - 4 Jan 1945)
Mother*Harriet Evans Wellington (s 1912 - )
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Irene Mullen

Female, #18504, (circa 1891 - )
Birth*circa 1891 Irene was born circa 1891. 
Marriage*1936 She married Claude Daniel Keith in 1936. 
Married Name1936  As of 1936, her married name was Keith. 

Family

Claude Daniel Keith (24 Nov 1888 - )
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Alvin James Keith

Male, #18505, (9 Jan 1891 - Jan 1965)
Father*George James Keith (c 1868 - )
Mother*Mary Lula Gay (27 Aug 1872 - 25 Sep 1938)
Birth*9 Jan 1891 Alvin was born at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 9 Jan 1891. 
Death of Mother25 Sep 1938 His mother Mary Lula Gay died on 25 Sep 1938. 
Death*Jan 1965 He died in Jan 1965. 
Burial* His body was interred at Keith Cemetery, Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited20 Sep 2007

Evan Keith

Male, #18506, (circa 1896 - )
Father*George James Keith (c 1868 - )
Mother*Mary Lula Gay (27 Aug 1872 - 25 Sep 1938)
Birth*circa 1896 Evan was born at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, circa 1896. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Jessie Bowles

Female, #18507, (21 Mar 1901 - Nov 1980)
Birth*21 Mar 1901 Jessie was born on 21 Mar 1901. 
Marriage*circa 1922 She married Joseph William Keith circa 1922. 
Married Namecirca 1922  As of circa 1922, her married name was Keith. 
Death*Nov 1980 She died at Gay, Meriwether Co., Georgia, in Nov 1980 at age 79. 

Family

Joseph William Keith (circa 1898 - )
Children
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Evelyn Black

Female, #18508, (circa 1904 - )
Birth*circa 1904 Evelyn was born circa 1904. 
Marriage*circa 1925 She married Gay Paul Keith circa 1925. 
Married Namecirca 1925  As of circa 1925, her married name was Keith. 

Family

Gay Paul Keith (14 Nov 1901 - 1958)
Children
Last Edited9 Jul 1999

Frances (?)

Female, #18509, (say 1905 - )
Married Name Her married name was Keith. 
Marriage* She married George Keith
Birth*say 1905 Frances was born say 1905. 

Family

George Keith (circa 1903 - )
Children
Last Edited5 Oct 2000

William Keith

Male, #18510
Father*Joseph William Keith (c 1898 - )
Mother*Jessie Bowles (21 Mar 1901 - Nov 1980)
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited2 Jul 2004