Mary Hay

Mary Stockton Hay

Saturday, April 9th, 1921 - Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
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Mary Thomas Stockton Hay – known to most as Tommy – lived a full and generous life and died peacefully in her Given’s Estate apartment on September 18, 2019, of congestive heart failure. She was 98 years old.
She was born April 9, 1921 in Richmond, Kentucky, the only child of Edward and Mary Stockton and grew up surrounded by generations of family and friends. She graduated from Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, VA, and during World War II worked at the Blue Grass Ordinance Depot outside Richmond.
After the War, while attending a week-long Presbyterian Youth Conference as a sponsor, she met seminary student Edward Craig Hay of Hickory, NC. Before the conference had concluded they were engaged and within the year married. What began in that whirlwind endured as a strong and loving bond until his death in 1998.
Together they had four children: Edward Craig Hay, Jr. (Asheville); The Rev. Robert Stockton Hay (Peachtree City, GA); The Rev. Thomas Douglass Hay (Louisville, KY); and Mary Hay Gwynn (Black Mt.), now deceased. They were partners through the four decades of his ministry to churches in Nicholasville, KY, Franklin, TN, Jacksonville, FL, Birmingham, AL and Wilmington, NC. She did whatever needed to be done, teaching all ages of classes, serving meals and leading hundreds of church gatherings. In 1985 he retired from ministry and a few years later they moved to Black Mt., NC.
Recently she said that the thing of which she is most proud is being ordained as a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, NC. It was an endorsement of her gifts and allowed her to serve the church she loved even to the national level.
Throughout her life she showed a steadfast commitment to justice and for overturning the structures that sustain oppression. She found ways to fight racism in Birmingham and support the rights of powerful women through turbulent decades. With a quiet steel she spoke truth with grace and lived the meaning of God’s inclusive, empowering love. After Mary died, she reordered her life to help raise two granddaughters.
As she aged, she never stopped growing. She taught children at Black Mt. Presbyterian Church, delivered Meals on Wheels into her 70’s and was active on community housing committees. She wore her support for the Democratic Party proudly and kept an active engagement with politics right to her last days.
As her family continued to grow, so did her joy. Twelve grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren called her Nana and gathered faithfully every Christmas to be nurtured by the family she held close. In recent years local grandchildren came to her apartment once a month with their babies to laugh and tell stories and have their spirits lifted by her generous heart. A great-grandchild was born just 4 days before her death and she was able to see pictures and talk to the parents.
Besides her children, she is survived by daughters-in-law Diana Soileau, Janice Hay and Dawn Biggs and son-in-law Andrew Gwynn; grandchildren Robert Hay, Jr. (Morgan), Sarah Hay (Albie), Kevin Hay (Julie), Mary Hay (Jim), Craig Hay (Linda), Rebekah Hay Groover (Jim), Douglass Hay (Katie), Lisle Gwynn Garrity (Paul), Laura Culp (Benji), Emelyn Gwynn Light (Breck), Nathan Biggs-Penton and Jessalyn Biggs, eleven great-grandchildren, many cousins, nieces and nephews particularly Marianne Gannon and Martha Campbell. She loved them all.
The public memorial service will be held at 2:00 on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at the Black Mt. Presbyterian Church after a private burial.
Memorial gifts can be sent to: Black Mt. Presbyterian Church or The Mary Hay Gwynn Endowment Scholarship Fund at A-B Tech Community College or to the Given’s Estate Resident Assistance Ministry at 2360 Sweeten Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28803 (online
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  • Service

    Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 2:00pm
    Black Mountain Presbyterian Church
    117 Montreat Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Courtney and Valerie Izumi Hoekstra and Ann and Albert Ackil sent flowers to the family of Mary Stockton Hay.
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Courtney and Valerie Izumi Hoekstra

Posted at 08:56am
With gratitude for Mrs. Hay's life and faithful witness and love for her family, the church, and God, The Hay family is in our hearts and prayers.
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Courtney and Valerie Izumi Hoekstra purchased the Sweet Tranquility Basket for the family of Mary Hay. Send Flowers


Ann and Albert Ackil

Posted at 06:31pm
With sympathy and loving memories. Your generous spirit and kindness will always be remembered.
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Ann and Albert Ackil purchased flowers for the family of Mary Hay. Send Flowers

Sam Gwynn

Posted at 04:07pm
It was an honor to know both Ed and Tommy. Donna, Ty, and I mourn her passing and celebrate her life.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:26am
With loving memories of "Mary Hay", Robert, Benson, Jackson, Sandee, Heather, Kelly
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Peaceful White Lilies Basket was purchased for the family of Mary Hay. Send Flowers


Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 10:55am
Tom, We your OGA colleagu thinking of you during this difficult time. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."-Psalm 30:5
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