Oliver Randolph Gay Jr., 88, loving husband of the late Martha Ann Edwards Gay, peacefully entered into his eternity in Heaven Monday, October 30, 2023 at Tennille Retirement Home. Services to celebrate his life will be held in the Wrens Baptist Church Friday, November 3, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. with Dr. Mason Davis officiating. Interment will follow in the Wrens Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the church from 12:30-2:00 P.M. prior to the funeral service.
Born on January 24, 1935 in Louisville, Oliver was a lifelong resident of Wrens and graduated from Wrens High School in 1953. He met the love of his life at a dance in Louisville. Despite being from rival towns, their connection was undeniable and in March 1954, they began their lifelong journey together, making Wrens their cherished home.
Oliver had an impressive career at Southern Natural Gas, where he worked for over 40 years. His commitment and diligence led him to retire as a Superintendent. Known for his incredible work ethic and intelligence, Oliver had a remarkable ability to tackle any task at hand. Throughout his life, he pursued knowledge and completed several technical school courses in plumbing, TV repair, and electronics, which allowed him to excel not only in his professional endeavors but also in his personal projects. He was a true "do-it-yourself" type of person who took pride in his accomplishments.
Oliver’s personality was defined by responsibility and loyalty. He approached every aspect of his life with these virtues firmly planted at the core of his being. While Oliver was devoted to his work and despite his demanding work schedule, he realized the importance of enjoying life and always made time to relax and spend time with family and friends. He had a passion for traveling with his beloved wife, Martha, in their RV, exploring various destinations across the United States and Canada. They considered themselves “avid road warriors” and cherished the opportunity to create lasting memories together. Oliver also found solace in fishing during his younger days and spent countless hours at Clarks Hill indulging in this hobby. Additionally, he cherished his time as a part-time farmer, diligently caring for his cows.
Oliver will be fondly remembered for his incredible storytelling skills, his love for people, and his unwavering loyalty as a friend. He had a remarkable ability to captivate family and friends alike with his vivid narratives.
Oliver's faith played a significant role throughout his life. Having accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and being “recruited” by the church, he became an integral part of the Wrens Baptist Church community. Over the years, Oliver actively served in numerous capacities within the church family, including maintenance duties and serving on various committees such as the hostess committee, deacon board, and nominating committee. His commitment was acknowledged and appreciated, as he was honored with the title of Deacon Emeritus for his dedicated service of over 60 years. Oliver also participated in mission work through the Campers On Mission, formerly Baptist Builders, a Southern Baptist Mission Group, where he put his construction expertise to work. Through these endeavors, he touched the lives of many individuals and left an indelible mark on their hearts.
Oliver's love for his family and church family knew no bounds. His unwavering dedication to them was evident in every aspect of his life. He leaves behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, and an enduring love for his family, his church and community. Oliver’s memory will forever be treasured by all those who had the privilege to know him. His legacy of hard work, love for family, and devotion to church will continue to inspire generations to come.
Oliver is also preceded in death by his son, Randy Gay; mother, Lizzie Irene Windom Gay; father, Oliver Randolph Gay; and son-in-law, Leon Peebles. Those left to cherish his memories include his daughter, Marsha Peebles Walker (Rickey); daughter-in-law, Sharon Broome (Alan); grandsons, Marc Peebles (Holly), Lee Peebles (Marissa) and Randy Gay Jr. (Amy); six great-grandchildren, Paetyn Peebles, Marlee Grace Peebles, Lux Gay, Blakely Gay, Mitch Black and Lori Black; two great-great-grandchildren, Abby Black and River Black; other extended family members, church family and friends. Serving as pallbearers are Jeff Gay, Jim Gay, Charles Milburn, Bill Newsome, Jack Phillips, Richard Prescott, Jack Roberson and George Samples. Honorary pallbearers are Emory Clements and employees, both past and present, of Southern Natural Gas.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the staff of the Tennille Retirement Home and the staff of Hospice Care Options for their loving, professional care.