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Johnny Hay


1919 - 2006 | Obituary Condolences
Johnny Hay, 86, passed away Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006.

Memorial service: 2 p.m. Friday at Meadowbrook United Methodist Church, 3900 Meadowbrook, Fort Worth.

For over 20 years, a personable young man, armed with a handful of artist's pens, stepped before Channel 5 color cameras in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to draw his way into the hearts of young and old.

His interest in cartooning began when he was barely big enough to hold a crayon.

Johnny Hay was born July 11, 1919, in Burleson, to Charles Leroy and Ruby Pearl Hay. He was the eldest of two sons.

Johnny graduated from Burleson High School in 1938 and because of his artistic gifts, was soon hired by Consolidated Vultee in California as a aircraft designer. He was transferred to Fort Worth in 1941 to open the new Consolidated facility.

Johnny and his wife of 63 years lived in beautiful Pecan Plantation in Granbury. He married Myranelle Gillis in 1942 and, shortly thereafter, joined the Air Force to serve his country in World War II, trained as a pilot. He served until the war ended in 1945.

Afterward, John created his own cartoon advertising company, as well as working with a cartoon syndicate in Dallas.

John was a pioneer in television, being hired by WBAP in 1948. He had many roles including artist, producer, director and on-air personality, having his own show.

Starting out as a floorman, John soon moved onto his own television show called "Cartoon Time." Other shows that followed were "See Saw Zoo," "Tricks & Treats," "Hey, Johnny Hay," "Clutch Cargo," and "The Children's Hour," which ran for almost 14 years.

Johnny's special brand of sincerity and humor, coupled with his joy of cartooning, made him one of the most beloved entertainers in WBAP-TV's history.

Johnny's 21-year career came to an end, following a series of heart attacks that finally required triple by-pass heart surgery.

Retirement did not suit Johnny, so in 1973 he syndicated a cartoon strip, "Arty," that ran in the Star-Telegram, the Dallas Times Herald, the Houston Post, The Austin American-Statesman and others, as well as in 5 newspapers in Europe and Australia.

John was also a man of many talents, he enjoyed architecture, home building and land development.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Bob Hay.

Survivors: His wife, Myranelle; son, Ron Hay and wife, Sondra; daughter, Bonnie Lamar and husband, James; grandsons, Bryan Keeton and wife, Melissa and Matthew Hay; numerous nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

Published in Star-Telegram on Feb. 6, 2006
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