In memory of
James Fisher Gay
James Fisher Gay
Oct. 21, 1929 - Aug. 18, 2019
Beating Black Thursday by just eight days, James Fisher Gay, made his arrival Oct. 21, 1929 in Eugene, Ore., bringing his bright light with him to the joy of his parents James Barker Gay and Coral Gay and his 11 year old sister Zelda. When he was just a lad the family moved to Woodburn where Jim was raised, schooled through High School and became completely engrossed in sports, especially baseball, his first love, his favorite position, being a catcher. Blessed with leadership skills, sports savvy and the gift of understanding and love of people, Jim was awarded a four year scholarship to Willamette University, carrying with him a dream of the Majors that ended when he was beaned while up to bat, but not the dream of coaching.
When at Willamette he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. After graduation Jim secured coaching positions at Toledo on the coast, Crater Lake Hi in Medford, eventually becoming a successful head baseball coach at Parkrose High School where he served as head of the English Department while also teaching English Literature including writings of Wm. Shakespeare.
In 1953 he married Nancy Lawson and soon became a dad to his two sons James Lawson and Kyle Norman, the joys of his life. Jim and Nancy later departed ways. Several years later through mutual friends Jim was introduced to Joanne Nienas. It took Jim three years to decide Joanne would be a good mate for him and on March 14, 1970 they married at the Milwaukie Presbyterian Church. Their attendants were Frank and LaVelle Perry, those dear mutual friends, the matchmakers. After Jim and Joanne married, Jim obtained his Masters degree from Lewis & Clark College.
Together they delivered Meals on Wheels for 10 years receiving many blessings. With sparking eyes and a joyful face Jim delighted in being a native Oregonian, Jim also served as an Oregon National Guardsmen during the Korean War. Jim retired from teaching in 1985 and immediately entered the Real Estate world which he took to like a duck to water (he was also a Duck fan) and embraced for 25 years, most spent with the Gresham REMAX under the direction of John VanLoo, Jim's mentor and beloved friend, until his old legs gave out in 2010. A member of Crossroads Church Jim taught a bible study group for several years so wanting to return to his favorite class.
He died at 6 a.m., Aug. 18, 2019 at home, his seraphic niece Sidney McReynolds at his side. Jim received tender care under Bristle Hospice and also Comfort Care during his last weeks as he bore his terrible pain with patience and grace. His parents; sister, Zelda and her husband, Floyd Hovenden; Nancy and their son, Kyle Norman; and nephew, John Hovenden predecease him. He is survived by Joanne; his son, James "Jamey" and wife, Anita; grandsons, Michael, Nathan and Matthew; niece, Sylvia and husband, Paul Sowa of Woodburn; nephew, Bill and wife, Susan Hovenden of Kirkland, Wash.; as well as Joanne's few family members he dearly loved.
Jim was laid to rest in Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Sept. 14, 2019, at Crossroads Church 2505 N. E. 102nd Ave. Smiles required.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
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