Gay, Richard Leslie
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November 17, 1950 - March 3, 2013
Richard Leslie Gay, 62, of Chatsworth, died peacefully Sunday March 3, 2013. He was born November 17, 1950, in Redlands, California to the late Philip and Mary Frances Gay. He grew up on a citrus farm with his two brothers and sister. He graduated from Redlands High School and attended UC Riverside and UCLA, where he earned BA, MA and PhD degrees in chemical engineering. Starting in 1976, Richard worked for Atomics International, which later became part of Rocketdyne, Rockwell International and then Boeing. He served as the technology lead for the US Department of Energy's molten salt oxidation project for mixed waste treatment. Dr. Gay holds 13 US Patents for waste cleanup, which renders them non-toxic. Richard waged a lifelong battle with dermatomyositis, an illness that was first diagnosed when he was 13. He was a co-chair of the Los Angeles Myositis Support Group and editor of their Newsletter, which has national distribution and provides insights into new treatments and techniques for addressing this disease. Richard was a long-standing active member of the St. Joseph the Worker parish in Winnetka, CA. He was a supporter of the Nativity School in Central Los Angeles, providing scholarships to well over 50 students and other financial assistance for buildings and labs for more than a decade. He also received the Founder's Humanitarian Award for his support of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Africa, particularly in Arusha, Tanzania. He was active in the UCLA Engineering Alumni Association, having served as president. He established a fund to provide support for students in intercollegiate engineering competitions and received its annual Henry Samueli EEA Service Award. He also supported the California State University, Northridge's radio station KCSN receiving the Volunteer Service Award in 2005. He was also a supporter of the Valley Performing Arts Center. Memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, March 16, at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Winnetka, CA, followed by a reception in the parish hall. He is survived by his two brothers, Robert Gay and wife, Carla of Fayetteville, AR and Charles Gay and wife, Patti Jacobs of Westlake Village, CA, and his uncle and aunt John and Mary Gay of Sahuarita, AZ. He was preceded in death by his sister, Alice Gay. Richard also leaves behind many friends, extended family including cousin Paula Link in Connecticut, and his two beloved cats, Ben and Bandit. The Honorable Tom McClintock of the 19th Senatorial District passed a Resolution on November 18, 2005 recognizing that for his unsurpassed enthusiasm and commitment to meeting the needs of the public, Richard has created a legacy of community involvement and civic concern that will long inspire the citizens of his community and the state.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 10, 2013