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Jackie “Dwayne” Gay: February 18, 2018

Jackie “Dwayne” Gay (66) stepped from death to eternal life, surrounded by his family on February 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas, after an 8 year battle with metastatic melanoma.

 

Born in Laurens County, Dublin, Georgia, to then-sheriff Carlus Delmas Gay Sr. and his wife, Georgie Mae, Dwayne liked to joke that he “spent the first six years of his life in the Laurens County jailhouse,” the official residence of his father and family. He attended Brewton-Parker College, Middle Georgia College, and Georgia Southwestern State University. He followed his father and two older brothers into law enforcement by working in the Georgia State Patrol, first as a radio operator before eventually going on active patrol. It was while working for the State Patrol in Americus, Georgia that he met his wife, Penny Slade, who was attending Georgia Southwestern State University. They lived briefly in Albany, Ga, and then moved back to Americus, where their two sons grew up. Dwayne worked many hard and long hours to provide for his family, even despite his cancer and the many harsh therapies he endured, at Miller Brewing Company for 38 years, ultimately retiring the month before his passing. His job required him to commute two hours daily, often seven days a week. He was a member of Central Baptist Church in Americus.

 

Diagnosed with cancer in 2009, Dwayne was a walking miracle who defied the odds of his diagnosis. Known for his wealth of stories and anecdotes, his unfailing humor brought strength and laughter to him and many others throughout his life, but none more so than his family and care team here in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer center throughout his battle. Despite many prolonged setbacks and challenges, he persevered and always refused to give up hope, looking for what he called his “silver bullet.” Eventually, his care required him to move to Houston, TX, where he continued to spread joy and laughter with his new neighbors and friends. He had many favorite subjects he loved talking about, including his sons, food, restaurants, and football. He faithfully followed his UGA Bulldogs no matter his location.

 

He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Carlus Delmas Gay Sr. and Georgie Mae Gay, and his oldest brother Carlus Delmas Gay Jr. Surviving him are his wife of 38 years, Penny; sons Skylar and Casey; and brother Bobby Gay (Shirley), sister- in- law Bertie Gay, brothers-in-law Mike Slade (Susan) and Tom Slade (Julie), nieces Tammy Woodward (Price), Terrie Mountjoy (Allen), and Lori Lyons (Ryan); nephews Tracy Gay, Drew Gay (Jill), Ty Gay (Whitney), Lance Slade (Toni), Will Slade, and Rob Slade; and many great-nieces and nephews.

 

Due to the family’s move away from GA to Houston, plus his wishes for his sons’ education not to be interrupted, there will be no services at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to:

 

Central Baptist Church (Member Benevolence)

190 Upper River Road

Americus, GA 31709

or

The JMKL Corp (BTHO Melanoma)

1106 El Dorado

Houston, TX 77062