Mary Virginia English Gay passed from this life in the morning of Monday, January 14, 2019, while at her home in Winterville, NC. Born in Pender County on September 15, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Clifton Jackson English and Iley Edith Orr English. She was also predeceased by her husband--Seth Richard "Dick" Gay, a son--Jack Richard Gay and a sister--Alma English Smith.
Left behind to cherish her memory are her daughter--Donna Gay Joyner and husband Charles of Greenville; nieces and nephews--Hurtford "Tim" Smith of Wake Forest, David Scott Smith of Oak City, Nancy Smith of Raleigh, Mike Gay of Walstonburg, Sammy Gay of Walstonburg, Susan Smith, of Farmville, Sterling Gay of Winterville, Kelly Godley of Greenville, and Kathryn Cargill of Winterville; sisters-in-law--Blanche Gay of Farmville and Dot Gay of Walstonburg.
Virginia taught school for over twenty-five years mainly at Wallace Elementary School. She taught sixth, seventh and eighth grades, science, home economics and language arts. Her career then led her to the Pender County Department of Social Services where she was a nursing home supervisor for many years. Having been born in Pender County, she lived most of her life in Willard, NC where her family lived and farmed for generations. She attended East Carolina Teachers College in Greenville, NC, where she received a B.S. in science and home economics. She later met and married Seth Richard Gay and had two children, Jackie who passed away in 1972 and Donna. Donna lives in Greenville and has worked as a pharmacist for thirty-seven years. Virginia truly loved people and always had a special interest in helping students and elderly people. She loved God and tried to exemplify a Christian life for her family. She always tried to put others first. There was time for gardening in her lawn, sewing, and traveling with family when her health still allowed it. In later life she had two wonderful caregivers-Annie Mae Rouse and Carolina Speight who she truly loved as family.
A service to honor her life will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm in Peniel Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church. The family will receive friends prior to the service at the church from 1:00 pm til 2:30 pm. Interment will follow the service at the Peniel Church Cemetery. For those who wish, contributions in her memory may be made to the Peniel Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church or to the American Heart Association.