Mary Gay passed peacefully at home Feb. 25, 2019. She is survived by her husband of almost 75 years, John Gay, son Steve (Janice) Gay, daughter Jane (Jay) Appleby, daughter Clare Gay (Larry) Danvers, 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and their cat Chloe.

Mary was born March 8, 1924 in Berkeley, California. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in psychology, and met her husband John there. They lived in a hut/tent on stilts in the jungles of British Guiana (now Guyana) and Brazil for 3 years so John could scout for gold for Anaconda, a large U.S. mining company. Mary and their son Steve joined John when Steve was just 4 months old. Mary had many fond memories of this adventure.

They moved from California to Sahuarita so John could work at the Anaconda/Anamax copper mine. They have lived in the same house in Sahuarita for over 50 years. Mary loved gardening and always had a beautiful front and backyard.

Painting in oils was another of her passions, with her subjects being landscapes, Native American portraits, horses, and various other subjects. She won best in show in Arivaca for a painting of a group of horses heading home in the evening. She sold over 100 of her paintings and gave art classes.

In her 50s, she built a cabin at their ranch in the St. David area. Her only tools were her father’s dull hand saw, a hammer, a level and a book on construction. The family still uses the cabin over 40 years later. She would treat herself by having a rousing time pounding the keys of their antique family piano. Another of her passions was reading, totally immersing herself in the story. She also enjoyed riding the family horse Primero, both alone and with friends and their dogs. She shared her love for animals by being secretary and/or treasurer for TALGV (The Animal League of Green Valley) for many, many years. Her husband John also helped out at TALGV. She also loved playing tennis, and ballet and square dancing.

She passed at the age of 94, but her pretty brown hair never turned gray. She set the example to her children and others that you can do whatever you set your mind to! In lieu of flowers, please send donations to TALGV. There was no service.

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