James Gay, Jr.
James Gay, Jr. entered the gates of heaven on December 13, 2021, immediately welcomed by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Born on February 11, 1934 to Minnie Blackmon Gay and Frank James Gay, they lived in Perkins, Georgia. James graduated from Jenkins County High School. He married his high school sweetheart Velma Sowell Gay in 1953.
James was a hard worker and well known in the agricultural equipment repair business. He worked 38 years for J & B Ford Tractor Company, retiring at age 62. However, farmers continued to call him for advice for many years. They all wanted “Junior” to work on their equipment.
He was saved at age 27, baptized in the spring at Magnolia Springs State Park and became a member of the Magnolia Baptist Church in Perkins, GA. He and Velma were blessed with three children: James Anthony “Tony” Gay, Kathy Leah Gay Morgan, and Steven Randall Gay. They moved to Waynesboro in 1966 and joined Rosemont Heights Baptist Church. A few years later, they joined the fellowship at Burkehaven Chapel.
One of the ministries James and Velma enjoyed together was being part of the Chapel leadership which started Burkehaven Christian School. For 27 years, he served as trip bus driver, helped transport props and costumes for the plays, spoke at chapel services and anything else that needed doing. He enjoyed sitting on the playground bench watching them play. The children loved to give him hugs. He served as an elder in the church and shared the Word at their services. He was a bold witness for our Lord wherever he was and handed out tracts he had specially made. His family appreciated his advice, leadership, and wisdom. His Christian walk was an example to all he met. He was a great husband, father and Papa as well as a faithful friend to many.
He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them. Family gatherings were always full of laughter, tricks, and tasty food. He shared stories of his growing up and working on tractors. His world changed and his heart broken when his Velma went to Heaven in 2017. He longed to be with her.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife Velma, his father Frank Gay, his mother Minnie Chance and stepfather Sidney Chance, and his brother Bobby Gay.
His surviving family includes his son, Tony and wife Sherrell Gay, their children Michelle and Chris White and son Harrison, Jeremy and wife April Gay and daughter Sadie, Tracy and Shane Ide and son Roy; his daughter Kathy and husband Garry Morgan, their children, Candi and Jason McCorkle, Joshua and Jessie Morgan and children, Wylie and Evie; his son Steve and wife Karen Gay, their children, Catie and Chris Wilson and daughters Haddie and Hannah, Megan and Dusty Wammack and children Emma, Jacob, and Caleb, Rosie and Dwight Ashe, and son Tripp, and Aimee Gay. Also, his sister Beth Jordon, sisters-in-law Vera Nell (Buford) McGraw and Ramona Gay, brothers-in-law Travis (Sandra) Sowell and Raymond Sowell. He also has many nieces and nephews. Special friends include Linda Byne, Denise Crabtree, Julie Baker, Richard Young, and Jeff (Mary June) Speichinger.
We are thankful for his caregivers Ella Edwards, Patricia Jones, and Dr. Christian for his wonderful care.
Visitation will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 16 at Rosemont Baptist Church located at 520 Hwy 25 North, Waynesboro. His Celebration of Life will follow at 12:00 Noon. Graveside service will be private for family at Green Fork Baptist Church in Perkins, GA. Pastor David Hollingsworth, Pastor Dusty Wammack, and Pastor Mike Flowers will lead the service. Chance & Hydrick Funeral Directors is overseeing the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to Burkehaven Chapel % Garry Morgan 820 Corley Road, Blythe GA 30805.