Doris Jean Gay
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Doris Jean Gay
  • July 16, 1932 - May 23, 2017
  • Greenville, South Carolina

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Doris Jean “DJ” Ellington Gay, 84, of Maysville, Kentucky and long time resident of Greenville, South Carolina, passed away to be with God and her family on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. She was a depression era baby, born at home on July 16, 1932 to her proud parents, the late William Oscar Ellington and Nell Keerans Ellington. Doris Jean was a graduate of Maysville High School and earned her degree in nursing from The Jewish Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati, Ohio. She spent the last 34 years as the devoted and loving wife of Charles “Charlie” Gay.

Born to dispense comfort, caring and compassion, Doris Jean began her nursing career as a volunteer candy striper at the early age of 16 at the Maysville Hospital. Upon earning her nursing degree, she spent many years serving others at the Maysville Hospital and the Denham Clinic of Maysville. She later dedicated herself as a homemaker and mother to her young children. As she began her third career, DJ summoned her creative talents as a decorator and founded the Decorating Den in Portsmouth, Ohio. It was at the Decorating Den where she met “Charlie”, the love of her life.

In 1984, Charlie and DJ moved to Fort Myers, Florida where DJ cared for her aging mother. They moved to Greenville, SC in 1996 and quickly made many new friends through the Newcomers Club. DJ's many activities included the arts, home decorating, shopping, reading, bridge, and gardening. DJ was past President of the Maysville Younger Woman's Club, and received the 2010 Woman of the Year Award from the Clarise Wilson Garden Club of Greenville. She was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Guild of the Greenville Symphony.

Doris Jean was predeceased by her parents, her brother, emeritus professor James Wesley Ellington at the University of Connecticut, and her children, William Gregory and Jeana Dee. She is survived by her husband Charles Gay; her stepchildren Anne Elizabeth Owens of Florence, SC; Douglas Gay of Hingham, Mass; Catie Campbell of Cincinnati, Ohio; Patricia Ann Gay of Centerville, Ohio; Donna Lee Brooks of Springboro, Ohio; William Gay of Tampa, FL; and Julie Saluke of Springboro, Ohio. She is survived by many stepgrandchildren and her close childhood friends, Mary Ball Jackson of Hendersonville, NC, and Marty Downing of Maysville, and her special nursing school classmate, Joan Dorr of Cincinnati, Ohio.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 11:00 am at Mackey Mortuary, 311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC. A memorial service will also be held on a future date at First Christian Church in Maysville, Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Westminister Presbyterian Church or First Christian Church, 18 East 3rd Street, Maysville, Kentucky 41056.