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Tomball, TX - Charles Richard Gay passed away on Thursday, December 8, 2011 in Tomball, Texas at the age of 76. Richard was born on September 2, 1935 in Panama City, Florida to Joseph and Minnie Melvin Gay. He was a long time resident of Shreveport. He was a graduate of Shreveport's Byrd High School and Texas A&M University.
Richard is survived by his wife of 45 years, Noni Miller Gay; son, Zehntner and his wife, Sam of Islamorada, FL and his children, Ritchie, Nikki, and Lola; son, Chuck and his wife, Nancy of Cypress, TX and their children, Natalie and Richard; daughter, Shannon and her husband, Jason Atkinson of Cypress, TX and their children, Miller and Patrick; and sister, Mildred Gay Lawrence of Mobile, AL.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Alice and Edna, and brothers Donald and Frank.
Richard moved to Shreveport early in his life where he was raised by his sister, Alice, and her husband Pete Pruett. Under their strong guidance, Richard began to excel in both academics and athletics. His tenacity and blazing speed allowed him to shine in both football and track. In track, Richard held several Louisiana state records. He also holds the honor of being the first All-American football player from Byrd. He was an inaugural member of the Byrd Athletic Hall of Fame. Richard participated in what many call the greatest high school football game ever played in Louisiana - a tie in 1953 against Springhill. Springhill was led by future Texas A&M teammate and Heisman trophy winner John David Crow. After high school, Richard had the privilege of playing football for Texas A&M under legendary Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Richard received all-Southwest Conference honors and was named team captain in 1958. Included in Bear Bryant's biography when Bear answered the question who was the toughest football player that you ever coached, he answered "Richard Gay."
After a knee injury ended his football career, Richard returned to his beloved Shreveport. He put his Civil Engineering degree to work at the Werner Company. Through hard work, Richard became Vice President and co-owner. Later, he went on to form his own company, worked for Shreve Land Company, and ended his career at Hand Construction. Richard proudly served his community as a member of the Shreveport Building Board and the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. During his long and successful career, Richard built or renovated several well-known Shreveport landmarks including the Coca Cola Bottling Plant, General Motors Assembly Plant, Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Schumpert Hospital, KTBS Television Station, 610 Texas, Captain Shreve Football Stadium, First Baptist Church, and First Methodist Church.
In 2005, Richard retired and he and his wife, Noni, moved to Tomball, Texas to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They truly cherish the close bond that they have with them. Richard's influence will be seen throughout their lives.
Visitation will be observed Sunday, December 11, 2011 at Osborn Funeral Home in Shreveport from 5-7 PM. Funeral services will be held Monday, December 12 at 11:30 AM at Osborn Funeral Home in Shreveport with Msgr. Earl Provenza officiating. Graveside services will be held Tuesday, December 13 at 10 AM at the Memorial Cemetery of the City of College Station, Texas in the Aggie Field of Honor.
Pallbearers for the Shreveport service will be Dan Barr, Billy Bundrick, Buddy Bush, Maurice Cournoyer, Bob Hamm, Spanky McCoy, Russell Ogilvie, Kirby Rowe, Harold Gene Smith, and H.F. "Sock" Sockrider.
Pallbearers for the College Station service will be John David Crow, Bill Hardy, Joe Schmid, Loyd Taylor, Don Watson, and Jim Wright.
Memorials may be made to Camp Blessing Texas (26922 Holly Lord, Magnolia, TX 77355) or the Byrd High School Letterman's Association (3201 Line Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104). Please consider honoring Richard by donating blood and platelets to your local blood bank.
Osborn Funeral Home - Shreveport
3631 Southern Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71104
Published in Shreveport Times from Dec. 10 to Dec. 12, 2011