OBITUARY

Vergel Gay, Sr.

October 7, 1928February 15, 2021
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Vergel Gay, Sr., age 92, of Houston,Texas passed away on Monday, February 15, 2021.

Vergel Gay, Sr. was born in Tunis, Texas on October 7, 1928 to Loala Nash and George Thompson, Sr. His mother passed away three weeks later, and he was raised by his mother’s cousin, Sallie Allen Gay.

Vergel grew up in Caldwell, Texas and attended Freeman High School. He was a talented football player and earned a college athletic scholarship, but he declined the opportunity in order to help provide for Sallie; she had fallen ill and was no longer able to work.

After graduating from high school, he spent time in Brownwood, Texas working in a local café with his older brother, Clarence Maxie. While in Brownwood he met Willie Lee Washington; they married in the spring of 1951 and settled in Houston, Texas.

Vergel was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and served in the Quartermaster Corps from October 1950 to July 1952. Upon his honorable discharge, he worked in the food industry as a meat cutter for Swift Meatpacking Company for nearly thirty years. After his retirement from Swift, he began a second career as a master service technician for Savings of America, until his second retirement in 1994. Throughout both vocations, Vergel received numerous awards and recognitions including a proclamation from Houston Mayor Bob Lanier designating June 25, 1994 as “Vergel Gay, Sr. Day.”

Vergel accepted Christ at a young age, and he and Willie Lee joined Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in 1956. He had an active role in the church through the years, serving as a choir member, Sunday school teacher, Brotherhood member, Boy Scout leader, and deacon. He was also a dedicated community servant and lead the Cloverland Civic Circle organization for many years.

Vergel’s charismatic personality, sense of humor, and kindness made him beloved by all who knew him. He would go out of his way to help others and was always ready to jump in his signature pickup truck to lend a hand at a moment’s notice. Vergel always had a smile, funny story, or wisdom to share, and he never met a stranger. He made everyone he encountered feel special and loved.

Vergel leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of nearly 70 years, Willie Lee Gay; sons Vergel Gay, Jr. (Cynthia) and Vernon Gay (Kaundria); granddaughters, Courtney Gay, Christel Gay Nicholson (Anthony), Katelyn Gay and Korrine Gay; great-grandson, Rodney Coleman III; sister, Sharon Ann Singletary; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his great-granddaughter, Christen Coleman; and his brothers, Clarence Maxie, Robert Nash, George Thompson, Jr., and Irvin Thompson. Vergel will be tremendously missed, and his memory will remain in our hearts forever.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • W.T. Alexander, Pallbearer
  • Paul Guidry, Pallbearer
  • Ronald Harris, Pallbearer
  • William Lockett, Pallbearer
  • Johnell Nemons, Pallbearer
  • Ricky Stoner, Pallbearer

Services

  • A private Celebration of Life service will be held on March 4 at noon at American Heritage Funeral Home Chapel followed by a Committal Service at Houston National Cemetery. The Celebration of Life will be livestreamed on the American Heritage Funeral Home Facebook page.

Memories

Vergel Gay, Sr.

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Jackquline Swindle

March 1, 2021

Mr. Gay will always have a special place in the hearts of the Cloverland and Sunnyside residents. He volunteered for many years with various organizations and never turned down a request. At the polling locations, many voters were pleased to see his smiling face. He was ALWAYS willing to lend a helping hand. Mr
Gay will be greatly missed. We have lost a wonderful friend.

Winifred Riggs

February 26, 2021

My fondest memories of Vergil Gay, Sr was when I lived in another area of town and Mom would call me & tell me about the memories that she, daddy, Willie & Vergil shared on any given day such as gardening & doing things for each other. This began a long friendship in the neighborhood between both families that lasted from the 70's until Daddy, Mom & Vergil were called home. Vergil will be greatly missed, he was always helping out friends, neighbors, or family members any way he could.

Winifred Riggs,
ps my sister & her husband who live in Michigan also sends their condolences.

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