Donald M. Gay

LINNEUS — Donald M. Gay, 98, passed away on April 9, 2012.

Born in Casco on May 29, 1913, he graduated from Casco High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Education with a major in Sociology and Economics from the University of Maine.

Beginning a two-year career at Mechanic Falls High School in 1936, he then accepted the position of music director at Berwick Academy in South Berwick. In 1939, while teaching there, he met and married Myrtle B. Wrye, who was to stay by his side for 72 years, until her death in 2011.

In 1944, he and Myrtle moved to Auburn where he became supervisor of music for the Auburn School System. It was while directing both the Edward Little High School Band and Chorus until 1959 that these organizations grew in size and proficiency to be among the most prestigious high school bands and choruses in New England. Don would later look back on those 15 years in Auburn as some of the best of his 30-plus-year career in school music and to honor his accomplishments in the music programs, the Edward Little Class of 1951 established a Fine Arts scholarship in his name in 2001.

After supervising music programs at Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford, Mass., until 1964, he directed similar music programs at Stephens High School in Rumford and Oxford Hills High School in South Paris. Having retired from teaching in the late 1960s, Don was active for the next 20 years or so as a piano technician and eventually sold his business, retiring from his second career when he was in his mid 80s.

Don was predeceased by his wife, Myrtle.

He leaves three children, David H. Gay of Randolph, Vt., S. Martha Runnerstrom of Linneus and Donald E. Gay of Plano, Texas; as well as seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Folks who knew Don and Myrtle are welcomed to join in a service of celebration and remembrance for them to be held at the Casco Village Church in Casco at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 26.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: The Donald M. Gay Fine Arts Scholarship Trust, Crockett, Philbrook & Crouch, 178 Court St., Auburn, ME 04210.

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