Jewell Gayton Lay, age 91, Harrodsburg, widow of Elwood "Woody" Lay, passed away on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at her home in Harrodsburg. Born May 22, 1929 in Burgin, KY, she was the daughter of the late Will and Annie (Penman) Gayton. She began her schooling at Robinson Roe School in Burgin, graduated from West Side High School in Harrodsburg, received her Bachelor’s Degree in education at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, OH. She began her teaching career in one room called The Burgin Colored School in Burgin, Ky. After the school closed, Miss Gayton and the students moved to Westside School in Harrodsburg where she taught science for several years. When the school integrated, Miss Gayton moved to Brooklyn, NY to live with her sister and brother in law, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell for a brief time until she received a call from Mr. Summers for a teaching position in the Science Department at Bate School in Danville, Ky. Upon her return to Kentucky, she then received her Master’s Degree in education at the University of Kentucky followed by her Rank 1 Certification at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY. Her teaching career at Bate Middle School lasted for approximately 30 years before retirement. Jewell Lay was an active and loyal member at Little Zion Baptist Church in Burgin, Ky. She was also a member of the following organizations: Church Women United in Mercer and Boyle Counties, Loyal Benevolent Society #3 East Burgin, Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, Former Harrod Homemakers, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, NAACP, and participated in ringing of the Red Kettle Salvation Army Bell during the Holidays for over 25 years. She also rang the bell daily at her home to show support for families who lost loved ones to Covid as our Governor Andy Beshear suggested. She loved the outdoors and gardening.
Survivors include two daughters: Wanda Jewell Lay of Far Rockaway, NY and Wilma Jean Linton of Harrodsburg; three grandchildren Aimee Lay of NY, John T. Linton II of Harrodsburg and Blair Linton of Lexington. She was also survived by several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and former students. Other than her parents and husband she was preceded in death by three brothers, James Gayton, Paul Gayton and Billy Gayton; six sisters, Allie Mae Gayton, Blanche Miller, Ora Gayton, Hope Gayton, Thelma Gayton, and Anna Wilma Campbell.
Private graveside services will be conducted at the Maple Grove Cemetery by Bro. Phil Yates. Burial will follow in the cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy can be sent to Little Zion Baptist Church Loyal Benevolent Society, 425 Earl Street, Danville, KY 40422.
Arrangements were entrusted to Sims Funeral Services of Harrodsburg.
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