Dr. Wayne Donald Kay
August 30, 1939 – June 22, 2019
COLUMBIA - Dr. Wayne Donald Kay, age 79, died in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Born in Anderson, S.C. on August 30, 1939, he was the son of the late John Wayne Kay and the late Annie Louise Norris Kay, both descendents of pioneer Anderson County families. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2019 in the Old Silver Brook Cemetery, 1405 White Street, Anderson, SC 29624.
Dr. Kay attended Hammond School in Anderson and graduated in 1957 from the Anderson Boys' High School and in 1961 magna cum laude from Presbyterian College, where he was a Founders Scholar and a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity. He then received the M.A. degree with Phi Kappa Phi honors in 1963 and the Ph.D. degree in British Literature in 1967 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
He is survived by his son, David McGinnis Kay, and his daughter-in-law, Gabrielle N. K. Dean, of Decatur, Ga. and by his former wife, Dr. Carol McGinnis Kay, of Columbia. He was predeceased by his devoted parents and by his beloved twin brother, John Ronald Kay, who died on January 10, 2011.
Dr. Kay began his career at The University of Alabama in 1966 where he became a Professor of English and taught for fifteen years before moving to Randolph-Macon Woman's College with his wife, Carol McGinnis Kay, when she became Dean of the College. During this time he served for a time as Richard H. Thornton Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at Lynchburg College. From 1976 to 1983, he was Executive Director of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and Editor of the South Atlantic Review. He was the author of "Short Fiction in 'The Spectator'" published by the University of Alabama Press and editor or co-editor of two other scholarly books published by the University of Alabama Press and the University of Wisconsin Press, in addition to over two dozen articles in journals such as the Philological Quarterly.
Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Professor Kay by the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) and the Southeastern Linguistic Society (SECOL), and he was a former President of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS). After returning to South Carolina in 1987, Dr. Kay became Director of Development Research at the University of South Carolina.
He was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the Lansdowne Club (London).
The last years of his life were made most enjoyable by his part-time work at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, and by sailing the oceans blue. He was a Diamond-Level member of the Cunard World Club and sailed aboard the marvelous QE2 on her Farewell World Voyage in 2008 and the 2012 World Cruise of the Holland America Line ms Amsterdam -- and often on the Queen Mary 2, where he favored the often turbulent and stormy Winter Crossings. One of his favorite quotations was made by Sir Noel Coward, "Why, oh why, do the wrong people travel and the right people stay at home?"
Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, Columbia, is assisting the family. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be given to Presbyterian College, 503 South Broad Street, Clinton, SC 29325; or Midway Presbyterian Church, 3238 Midway Road, Anderson, SC 29621.
Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Dr. Wayne Donald Kay
August 30, 2019
I knew Donald Kay from my Ph.D days onward; he worked in the University of Tenneessee Library, where I was completing my doctoral dissertation. Much later, I knew him again when I taught in the English Department at the University of South Carolina; we used to chat. I am shocked and sorry that he is gone.
July 12, 2019
I met Don on the last world cruise of the QE2. We were both part of a group who met first on line through Cruise Critic We all met from time to time and I loved to sit and banter with Don, who also earned the nickname of Lord Kay. He loved everything British and had many stories told with his great wit. We remained in touch until a couple of years ago when his health deteriorated. He was a lovely gentleman.
July 6, 2019
We first met Don around 2006 when our daughter Gabrielle married Don's son David. We greatly enjoyed his droll sense of humor and his sharp intellect. We especially treasure that he loved our daughter as his own. Remembering how much he loved travel on those classy ocean liners, " Bon voyage, Dr. Don. May you be seated at the Captain's Table."
Affectionately, Linda and William Dean
June 28, 2019
It was a privilege to work with Dr K when I worked for Dunbar for
ten years on a part time basis . On numerous occasions, we traveled to Greenville to assist Mackey Mortuary. I was always impressed with his empathy for the grieving families and his love of the English language. I will have many fond memories of Don.
Laurie Glen MacNicol
June 27, 2019
I had the pleasure of working with Donald during my employment at The University of South Carolina. We bonded over his late companion, Earnest the Pug, aka, "The Importance Of." Earnest would stay with me while Donald went out to see world via the oceans. It was a delight and for the many years we continued to communicate and share letters. He always made me smile, or laugh out loud. It was a wonderful friendship and I am so grateful that he came into my life.
Donald Kay was kind, witty, erudite and, to my delight, occasionally sardonic. He was a true gentleman. We shall not see his like again.
Rest in Peace, Your Lordship.
June 27, 2019
i sponsored Don's membership in the Lansdowne Club in London and we enjoyed many trips there over a period of years. We went to auctions at Christies and attended many plays and concerts while in London. We also dined at many reciprocal London clubs as well as the Reform Club, the Carleton Club, the Oxford and Cambridge clubs as well as many others. What fun we had shopping at Libertys, Harrods, and all of the other fine (and not so fine) London establishments. I recall one time Don suggested that we dine at a newly opened restaurant in the East End. It was written up as very unique by a London rag. Well, unique it proved to be as we both got sick over the meal, but Don said "say nothing." Ha ha! It was the only time I ever had pig's ear! There are so many happy memories Don and I shared in London along with the late Professor Ken Curry and Prof.. Bill Flodin of Chicago. Remember the good times!
June 27, 2019
I met Don on a couple of occasions whilst we sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on QM2. We shared a table and dined together on at least one voyage and had many pleasant conversations. Fair winds and good seas, my friend.
June 27, 2019
I had the rare privilege of meeting and sailing with Don on that wonderful farewell QE2 World Cruise and then again on one of the QM2 winter crossings. We had planned on sharing a second winter crossing when he took ill several years ago. His humor was cutting edge and the stories of his retirement avocation should have been published. He will be missed. One of the last true Southern Gentlemen.
MARY van ehrlich
June 25, 2019
Don was one of the finest individuals I have ever met.
Along with my sister Lou (who lived at Sims Alley) between the two of us, we inadvertently started a Don Kay fan club despite his "loving" verbal abuse. He was( and will always be) our number one hero.
I fully expect Lou has already met him at Heaven's gate with a rather potent scotch and water...which would be expected.
He will always be my hero. I look forward to seeing him once again..
I hope he will save me a seat.
Mary Van Ehrlich
June 25, 2019
Dr. DK, as I called him, was a beloved leader, teacher, colleague and friend. He will be greatly missed as an engaging raconteur and a charming companion. We are comforted that his final days were peaceful with the love and support of Gabrielle, David and his mother, Carol. I am not entirely sure he would embrace a conspicuous condolence as he was well versed in matters of court and British protocol, the indefatigable Anglophile that he was. Warren M Hughes