Lester George Gay, 89, passed away in his home on November 27th. Lester was a life-long resident of Decatur County. A country boy from Adams, Korean War Veteran, police officer, gardener, photographer, storyteller, and history buff. He was the son of William Gay and Irene (Seitz) Gay.
Lester was a graduate of St Paul High School, class of 1952. He started his adult life with his military service in the US Navy. Lester served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany with his brothers Bob and Harold through 1956. He always said he had the best job as the ship’s photographer capturing the action of the carrier and the fun of his crewmates and brothers. There are many photos and colorful stories from this memorable time.
Shortly after his military discharge, he began employment with Boones sheet metal before entering Ray Vogue Photography school in Chicago. He started Gays’ Studio on the square in 1959 closing the studio in 1968. He continued with a wedding photography business through 1983.
Lester met his life partner Doris Foist on a blind date. Dating for 6 months, they married in December 1959. They were blessed to celebrate 63 years of marriage. They are parents to Wanda and Keith.
Lester started his employment with the Greensburg Police Department in 1967. He graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1969, a member of the inaugural class. He served the ranks of patrolman, lieutenant, detective and becoming Chief in 1975. Before his retirement from the force in 1989, Lester was able to serve his last day as an Officer with his son Keith.
Retirement for Lester included part time jobs, traveling to small towns for Doris’ genealogy research and collecting USS Oriskany articles and photos. Every day, Lester would spend time in his workshop while enjoying a cigar. He was an avid WWII history buff. He will be remembered for his great storytelling of his youth, military, and law enforcement days.
Lester was preceded in death by his wife Doris in June of this year, his parents, brothers: Robert Gay and Harold Gay, and sister Winona Simmons. He is survived by son Keith, Daughter Wanda (Mike) Deiwert, Grandchildren, Brandon Gay, Kyle Deiwert, Tyler Deiwert, Mara (Chance) Jones, and Sarah Deiwert. Great grandchildren, NovaLee Gay, Gracelynn Deiwert, and Emma Isroff, his sister Janet Wilson, and many nephews and nieces.
Visitation will occur at Gilliland-Howe Funeral Home, Greensburg, IN on Monday Dec 4, from 11am until time of funeral services at 1 pm. Burial to immediately follow at South Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider a donations to Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Your presence is missed, your memory treasured.” Unknown.