Gay Rebecca Sharp
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CIRCLEVILLE: The angels are likely posing for a group picture, as Heaven has gained the services of a beloved, keen-eyed professional photographer. Gay Rebecca Sharp, 67, of Circleville, Ohio, passed away Friday, March 8, 2013, at the Pickaway Manor Care Center in Circleville. She was surrounded by friends and family and passed peacefully.
Gay was born February 9, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio, and was the daughter of James and Dorothy Peterson, of Bremen, Ohio. She was a 1964 graduate of Fairfield Union High School and a 1968 graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor's degree in home economics education.
Always a creative person, stemming from her days of oil painting with her dad as a child, Gay started her own photography business, Gay Sharp Photography, in 1975 from her family's home in Stoutsville, Ohio. While her first love and life-long specialty was wedding photography, she also did portraits, sports leagues and special events. She served as the yearbook photographer for Logan Elm High School near Circleville for 10 years, and also was a yearbook photographer for Amanda-Clearcreek and Teays Valley high schools. While running her business, she was an advisor for the Sewing Chefs 4-H Club in Oakland, Ohio.
From 1988 to 1991, Gay moved her business from the home studio to a Circleville location, before the draw of beaches and warm sun prompted her to migrate south. She operated Sharp Photography in Sarasota, Fla., from 1991 to 2011 at several studio locations and then finally from her home. While weddings were still her specialty, beach portraits became a new and beloved offering. Gay also did photography for Southeast, Bayshore, Manatee, Lakewood Ranch, Riverview, Sarasota and Venice high schools in Florida.
While in Florda, Gay was an active member of the Bay Professional Photographer's Association, serving as a board member and president in 2001. She also was a member of the Florida Professional Photographers, serving on several committees, conducting seminars, working at state conventions and receiving the group's Florida Education Degree in 2005 and Florida Service Award in 2007. She attended FPP's annual Florida School of Photography in Daytona for 15 years.
Gay taught wedding photography classes at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa from 2006 to 2009. During her more than 35-year career as a photographic artist, she had several articles published in photography magazines, and earned numerous state and local print competition merits and awards. She also was a member of the Professional Photographers of America, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, serving as the official photographer for both chambers. She also was a member of the Weddings of Sarasota Network and a past officer for the Women Owners of Florida Network.
A scarlet-blooded Buckeye at heart, Gay was an active member of The Ohio State University Sarasota-Manatee Florida Alumni Club, serving as a past officer and regularly returning to Ohio for OSU football games.
From 2006 to 2011, Gay had a second home in Canal Winchester, Ohio, and did photography in Ohio and Florida. She became a member of the Canal Winchester Chamber of Commerce and the Lancaster/Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce.
In 2011, Gay returned to Ohio full-time to be closer to family, eventually moving to Circleville.
She is survived by her three sons, Scott (Joy) of Stoutsville, Adam (Lisa) of Circleville, and Kyle (Becky) of Stoutsville; 11 grandchildren, Katerina, Kaylee, Sydney, Brady, Bryce, Joce, Trent, Aaron, Sara, Dominic and Kylee; sister Karen (Mark) Cangiano of Brookline, Mass.; and nephew Leon J. Cangiano of Carlsbad, Calif.
A celebration of Gay's life will be held Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at the TAYLOR FUNERAL HOME, 111 West Main Street, Amanda, Ohio 43102 with Rev. Marilin Miller officiating. She will be laid to rest at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Stoutsville, Ohio. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, from 4-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gay Sharp Photography Mentorship Fund in care of the funeral home at the address listed above.
Kind notes of condolences may be sent to the family at www.mytaylorfuneralhome.com
Tayor Funeral Home
111 West Main Street Amanda, OH 43102
Published in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette on Mar. 10, 2013