Jessie Willard Gay, 81, of 3500 Pine Valley Dr., Wake Forest passed away at his home on June 26, 2018, following a year long battle with a lung infection. He was born in Franklin County on April 26, 1937 to the late John Pettigrew and Nellie Bunn Gay.
Jessie enlisted in the Army National Guard of N.C. in 1954 and was stationed in Zebulon, N.C. He served there for 8 years. After graduating from Wakelon High School in 1955, he completed the Tool & Die Apprentice Course offered by Westinghouse. He started his own company as a tool & die maker. He later worked at the Sylvania Plant in Smithfield and also the Data General Plant in Clayton.
In 1970 he joined the Rolesville Rural Volunteer Fire Dept. where he served until his retirement in 1993. He started the Rolesville Realty Co. in 1991 where he was broker-in-charge until the summer of 2017. The Rolesville Town Board awarded him "Citizen of the Year" in 2008 due to his involvement in the community and especially his accomplishments while serving as Chairman of the Rolesville EMS Board of Directors.
Jessie served as assistant treasurer of the Rolesville Baptist Church for several years. He could often be found working on spread sheets for the church or in the kitchen pouring tea and lemonade for Wednesday Night dinners and other various meals.
Forty-eight years of his family time was spent at the Ponderosa on Kerr Lake. He loved watching his children and grandchildren enjoy the water, especially trying to flip those tubes. He also enjoyed attending N.C. State Basketball Games and watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2018 at Rolesville Baptist Church, 203 E. Young St., Rolesville. Dr Randy Bridges will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery
Left to cherish those memories are his wife of 53 years, Faye, daughter Lisa Atkinson, husband Tommy, son Monty Gay, wife Karen, grandchildren Ashley Ray and husband Hunter, Emily Pulley, Josh and Jonathan Gay, all of Wake Forest. One beloved sister, Geraldine Fleming and husband Mutt of Grifton, N.C., sister-in- law Sue Gay of Atlanta, GA, nieces, Tiffany Rountree (Chip), Gina Rothchild (Peter), Jessica Synder (Vern), and one nephew, Geoffrey Gay (Lisa). In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his brother Johnny Gay, of Atlanta, GA and a niece Pamela Holmes of Connecticut.
Memorial donations may be made to the Rolesville Baptist Church Building Fund PO Box 185, Rolesville, NC. 2757.
Visitation will be held 6:00-8:00 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest. (919)-556-5811.