STAUNTON — James J. Gay, 87, of Staunton, died at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at Eden Village Care Center in Glen Carbon. He was born March 24, 1926, in Benld, and was son of the late James Gay and Lucy Brogliatti Gay.
He married Betty Jean Kotzman on May 16, 1948, in Staunton. She preceded him in death by 22 hours on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
He was owner/operator of Gay Plumbing, Heating & Hardware Store in Staunton. A veteran, Gay served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a member of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Staunton, Staunton VFW Post 1241, Staunton Masonic Lodge 177 AF & AM-Ainad Shrine Club.
Surviving are four children, three sons, James (Marsha) Gai of Warrensburg, Mo., Jack (Terry) Gai of Glen Carbon and Robert Gay of Lombard, Ill.; a daughter, Jane (Rick) Haase of Staunton; 10 grandchildren, Angela (Kris) Gilbert, Jimmy (Jessica) Gai, Kari (Matthew) Rich, Melissa (Phil) Manaois, Andy Gai, Laura Gay, Lisa Gay, Sara Gay, Olivia (Trae) Turner and Cecily Haase; five great-grandchildren, Mason, Kamryn, Sofia, Tony, Megan.
Besides his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by five brothers, Joseph, Teo, Richard, John, James (in infancy); three sisters , Onora (in infancy), Lucille Pellizzaro and Jean Evans.
Friends may call from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Williamson Funeral Home in Staunton. Memorials are suggested to Eden Village Wetzel Wing or Staunton Fire Protection District.
The Staunton Military Honor Guard will provide graveside rites.
To sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence, visit www.williamsonfh.com.