Mace Gay celebrated his 90th birthday several times: once with his daughter Carmen, who shares his birthday; another celebration with the family of his wife, Lenella, in Seattle, Wash.; and finally with a Gay family reunion at Grand Ronde, Ore.
Mace was born Nov. 27, 1925, in Edmonds, Wash. He has a younger sister, Lois Wyman. He graduated from Edmonds High School in 1943, served two and a half years in the Navy, and returned to Walla Walla College in 1946. He graduated in 1950 with the first class of engineers to graduate from WWC.
He married Helen Baker, and they had more than 62 wonderful years together. Mace's career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took him from Seattle to Portland, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., and Thomasville, Ga. He retired in in 1980, moving to Crescent Bar on the Columbia River, near Quincy, Wash. In 2005, Mace and Helen moved to Wenatchee.
He had the privilege of serving as local elder in the churches in the above listed cities, in addition to school boards and other duties as assigned. He was instrumental in design construction for churches in Mountlake Terrace and Quincy.
Six months before Helen died in 2010, she recommended Lenella as a possible second wife after she died. She wanted Mace "to go on living." They had all been friends for more than 30 years. Mace married Lenella (Hitchman) Chellis in 2011. She had been married to Allen G. Chellis, also an engineer from WWC. Allen had passed away in 2006 after 54 years of marriage to Lenella. For several years after retirement, the two families lived near each other and worked with Mission Church Builders (MCB) in southern California during the winters. One assignment took Mace and Helen to help finish a church in Kauai, Hawaii.
Mace and Lenella presently spend the growing season at his home in Wenatchee, Wash., and the remainder of the year at her condo in Seattle. (Yes, they winter in Seattle, not Arizona!)
The Gay family includes Mace Albert Gay III and Eileen of Grand Ronde, Ore.; Keith Leon and Patty (Long) Marker Gay of Umatilla, Ore.; Carmen Diane Johnson; 6 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.