Mary L. Gay
  • Or to the ---
  • United Methodist Church of Berea
    170 Seminary Street
    Berea, OH 44017
  • In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to the --- Al and Mary Gay Music Education Scholarship
  • Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music
    278 Eastland Road
    Berea, OH 44017

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Mary L. Gay Obituary


Memories & Candles

“My sincere sympathy to each of Mary's dear family. She was a friend and close associate as we served on the Berea Children's Home Board of...Read More »
1 of 9 | Posted by: Marilyn Reihs - Portland, OR

“We are praying for you all during this difficult time, that the Lord will walk with you and provide you with comfort and strength, and will wrap His...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: Dotty Whiteman and Susan Whiteman-Raubenstraw - OH

“Our love and prayers to Stu, Lucy and daughters. May all the good times always be close in your hearts and minds. We love all of you. ”
3 of 9 | Posted by: Ron, Patty and Matt - PA

“Mrs. Gay was wonderful! Her warm smile always made friends feel welcome. She always took the time to ask what we were up to and what we were...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Claudia Esposito

“SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. GOD BLESS THIS FAMILY. ”
5 of 9 | Posted by: ZITELKA PARR - MILWAUKEE, WI

“Mrs. Gay was a great lady who gave so much love to her family and made friends feel welcome. Your family's big spirit, sense of humor, and abiding...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Steve Blunt - Nashua , NH

“Dear Carol, Sorry for your loss. May your family and memories bring you comfort at this time and know that your friends are here when you need...Read More »
7 of 9 | Posted by: Debbie & Ken Kuehm - Shaker, OH

“So sorry to hear about your Mom, Stu! She was a fabulous woman and so loved and respected. How nice that the family shared Thanksgiving with her...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: Lynn Crytzer - Charlottesville, VA

“I truly treasure my 21-year friendship with Mary through the Baldwin Wallace Faculty Women's Club. She made everyone she encountered feel like...Read More »
9 of 9 | Posted by: Eve Hollender - Berea, OH


Mary Gay, of Berea, died peacefully at her home on Sunday, November 25 of complications from liver cancer. Mrs. Gay is survived by a large family and was active in many local organizations.

Mrs. Gay was born Mary Louise Alfs on June 28, 1929 in Shickley, Nebraska where she grew up and maintained family connections throughout her life. Mrs. Gay, who was the first in her family to graduate from college, attended Nebraska Wesleyan University where she met Albert Gay. The two were married on July 22, 1951 and settled in Fremont, Nebraska. While there, they had four children: Jeanne Elizabeth, Paul Spencer, Carol Catherine, and John Stuart. The family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Mr. Gay earned his doctorate in music education, and the family had a fifth child, Bruce Richard. In 1964, the family moved to Berea where Dr. Gay worked as a professor of music education at Baldwin-Wallace College until his retirement. James Bernard, their sixth child, was born in Berea.

Mrs. Gay loved music and played piano and organ for church and other groups. She had perfect pitch and helped her children with piano, telling them the left hand should be playing F-sharp, not F, while she continued cooking dinner in the next room. She played frequently in two-piano groups in the area, and was instrumental in forming the United Methodist Church of Berea's bell choir. She also sang in the church choir.

Mrs. Gay was active throughout the community. She was honored to serve on the Berea Children's Home and Family Services (now Guidestone Ohio) Board of Trustees for nineteen years. She also worked with the Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory Women's Committee and in the Conservatory of Music's Bach Library. She became a careful user of a calendar, with one group meeting on Monday just after the two-piano rehearsal, bridge on Tuesday with a committee meeting that night, bell practice Wednesday, and so on through the weeks. She could always be counted on to cook something for events or organize a reception.

Mrs. Gay was devoted to the United Methodist Church of Berea, which she joined shortly after moving to Berea. She and the family attended regularly, and she could be found in the same section of pews—near the front, on the right—weekly. She served on countless committees both in the church and in the district throughout the years, from the district United Methodist Women's Committee, and most recently assisting with the church's recent expansion.

Mrs. Gay is survived by all of her children except Paul, who died in 1984. Dr. Albert Gay died in 1999. Additionally, Mrs. Gay has three daughters-in-law: Lucy Comstock-Gay (Stuart), Kathleen Gay (Bruce) and Rosa Shin-Gay (Jim). Mrs. Gay has ten grandchildren: Andrew Heilakka (Elizabeth), Katharine Heilakka, Julia Gay, Claire Comstock-Gay, Abby Comstock-Gay, Hannah Comstock-Gay, Walter Gay, Irene Gay, Paul Shin-Gay, and Chloe Shin-Gay. Mrs. Gay's brother, Ronald Alfs, lives in Shickley, Nebraska.

The family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with Mom, who sat at the head of the table as usual for turkey and pumpkin pie. She was delighted to have almost everyone in town and particularly enjoyed seeing her two great-grandchildren, Dylan and Nora Beth Heilakka.

The family requests any memorials go in Mary Gay's memory to the United Methodist Church of Berea or Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music Al & Mary Gay Scholarship Fund. There will be a memorial service for Mrs. Gay at 2 p.m. on December 29 at the church.

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PD Death Notice
Mary Louise Gay (nee Alfs), age 83 of Berea; beloved wife of the late Albert ; loving mother of Jeanne, Carol, Stuart Comstock-Gay (Lucy), Bruce (Kathleen), James Shin-Gay (Rosa) and the late Paul; dear grandmother of Andrew (Liz) and Katharine Heilakka, Julia Gay, Claire, Abby and Hannah Comstock-Gay, Walter and Irene Gay, and Paul and Chloe Shin-Gay; great-grandmother of Dylan and Nora Heilakka; sister of Ronald Alfs (Merrill); aunt and friend of many. Passed away at her home on Sunday, November 25, 2012. Memorials may be forwarded to United Methodist Church of Berea, 170 Seminary St., Berea, OH 44017 and/or Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music, 278 Eastland Rd., Berea, OH 44017, Cremation by Busch Crematory. Memorial Service at the United Methodist Church of Berea, 170 Seminary St., Berea, Ohio on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by BUSCH FUNERAL AND CREMATORY SERVICES. 440-842-7800