Nature 06

Philip Gay

April 30, 1931 ~ February 17, 2021 (age 89)

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SOUTHBURY - Philip Toye Gay, 89, formerly of Greenwich, NY, passed away peacefully on February 17, 2021.  Philip is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Wanda Lee (Eitner) Gay.

Philip was born in Tewksbury, MA to Robert and Beatrice Gay on April 30, 1931.  He graduated from Tewksbury High School and Northeastern University, where he received his BSE in Chemical Engineering.  Among Phil’s co-op jobs was testing rubber soles on sneakers by walking through scenic towns in Vermont.  After serving in the Army in Panama as a meteorological specialist, he worked for Goodyear in Akron, OH, where he met Wanda, a pediatric nurse, on a blind date. 

Phil and Wanda married on June 1, 1957 and moved to Delaware, where he worked for Playtex.  Returning to New England in 1961, they lived in Sharon, then Walpole, MA where Phil worked for Hollingsworth and Vose, an industrial paper and advanced materials company.  During this time he obtained several polymer related patents.  In 1976 they moved to Greenwich, NY, where Phil served as Director of Research at H & V Greenwich until his retirement, marking 31 years with the company. 

Phil and Wanda were active members of the United Church of Greenwich.  They enjoyed travelling together, visiting many places including Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada, Alaska, Spain and many National Parks.  In 2018 they moved to the Watermark in Southbury to be closer to family.

Phil was a quiet, gentle man with a playful sense of humor.  He was adored by his family and friends as a great husband, father, co-worker, citizen and friend. Throughout his life Phil enjoyed tennis, skiing, woodworking, gardening, tinkering and puttering in his beautiful yard. While at Watermark he enjoyed exercise classes, walking, birdwatching and gardening.  

Phil leaves behind his devoted children Cheryl Barbato of Providence, RI, Linda (and husband Thomas) Kaelin of Woodbury, CT, and Robert (and wife Jennifer) Gay of Wakefield, RI; grandchildren Zene (Jennie) Colt, Susannah Colt, Sarah Kaelin and Sam Kaelin; great-grandchildren Zene and Anna Colt, niece and nephew Adrienne (Kevin) Fee and Jeffrey (Trisha) Gay, and sister and brother-in-law Marsha and Adrian McLean of Ontario.  Phil was predeceased by his brother Thornton and his sister Flora.  Arrangements are entrusted to Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home.  A private burial will be held in the spring, and a celebration of life will be announced at a later time.   The family is grateful to the caring individuals at the Watermark and the Springs as well as Hale Home Care and Autumn Lake Healthcare. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Audubon Bent of the River (Southbury, CT) at, or Capital City Rescue Mission (Albany, NY) at

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