Ted Gay

Obituary
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Ted Gay, whose name was synonymous with The Taunton Daily Gazette through more than 60 years as a reporter, editor, opinion writer and columnist, died Tuesday, March 25, 2014, one week after being injured in a fall at his Taunton home. He was 85 and the husband of Eleanor J. (Menice) Gay, who died in 2010. He was born Edgar Amos Gay Jr. in Middleboro, March 31, 1928, the son of Edgar A. Gay, a housepainter, and Myra (Simpson) Gay, a bookkeeper. He discovered his love for writing while a student at Middleboro High School, where he began covering high school sports as a correspondent for The Taunton Daily Gazette, Brockton Enterprise, and New Bedford Standard Times. Following his graduation in 1946 from Middleboro High School, where he was senior class president, he studied journalism at Boston University, graduating in 1950. He then went to work as a correspondent for the Taunton Gazette writing news about his hometown, which quickly led to a full-time job as a reporter covering Taunton police and courts and later, City Hall. His newspaper work was interrupted in 1951 when he was drafted for a two-year stint on the frontlines with the Army in Korea. When he returned in 1953, he met a reporter who had joined the Gazette during his absence, Eleanor Menice. They were married in 1958 and embarked on an extraordinary partnership that lasted more than 50 years. Ted became city editor of the Gazette in 1964 and its first-ever managing editor in 1968. He used the occasion to establish an editorial page. It featured a daily opinion piece by him on matters local and national, along with columns by his reporters and by nationally syndicated writers. Another column, which often featured the insights of his children in the words of our favorite 5-year-old, was a regular feature of the Saturday front page. He relished controversy and encouraged his reporters to write accurate, but lively, stories. Sparks often flew as he endorsed candidates in local elections and criticized decisions of the City Council, school committees, and Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant. When the subjects called him at home to complain about what he had written, Eleanor soothed hurt feeling while Ted fumed in the background that he meant every word that he wrote. After his retirement in 1991, he continued to write daily editorials and two columns a week for the Gazette for many years. His final column was published the day before he died. He championed every cause important to Taunton through six decades, fighting for the completion of Route 1-495, the development of the Myles Standish Industrial Park, a new courthouse for downtown, and more recently, the re-building of fire-damaged City Hall. He worked with 15 mayoral administrations and 13 mayors, almost all of whom became his friends. He was a member of many civic organizations and was a trustee of the Taunton Public Library at the time of his death. He was a member of the first group inaugurated into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. His love of newspapers was matched only by his love of sports. He was a weekend season ticket holder for the Boston Red Sox. He loved gardening and yard work on hot summer afternoons, the songs from 1950s and 1960s Broadway musicals, reading on the dock and fishing during New Hampshire vacations, bowling with his buddies at AMF Taunton Lanes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. He was a regular spectator at his grandchildrens athletic events and choral performances. The family is grateful to Amanda Pierce, Renae Benoit, and the women of Happier in My Home who made it possible for Ted to remain in his home after Eleanors death; to physical therapist Jeff Bruno and the employees of Longmeadow of Taunton who got him back on his feet and home again after hospitalizations three times in the past two years; and to Dr. James Hoye and the nursing and medical staff at Morton Hospital, who cared for him so attentively and kindly in his final week. He is survived by a daughter, Vicki-Ann Downing of North Dighton, her husband Neil, and their children, James, Andrew and Caitlin Downing; and a son, Ted Gay III of Taunton, his wife Marsha, their children, Kim Chalifoux, Kellie Dorsey, and Chad Cambra, and their grandchildren, Madison and Meghan Chalifoux, MacKenzie Perkins, Emily, Kiley, and Jameson Dorsey, and Calvin, Ava, and Aubrey Cambra. He also leaves the children of his sister, Beverly Dyke, who died a year before him, Janice Barney of Lunenburg, her husband Michael, and their son, Michael Robert, and Robert Dyke of North Easton and his wife, Marianne. The funeral will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 29, from the Silva Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Taunton, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 19 Kilmer Ave., Taunton. Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 28, at the funeral home. Donations in Teds memory would be appreciated to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168, or to a .

Funeral Home
Silva Funeral Home Inc
80 Broadway Taunton, MA 02780
(508) 822-0081
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Enterprise on Mar. 28, 2014
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