Gay Wilson Kendall was a tough old bird who flew the coop on April 1st, 2019, at the Baptist Home in Rhinebeck, NY. Gay was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 10, 1932, to Elsie Williams Wilson and F. Harrison Wilson.
After her family moved to Chicago, IL, she met the “boy next door”, Robert Cleaveland Kendall. Robert and Gay married on December 18, 1954. Children followed: Bradford, Christopher, and Allison.
Gay and Bob relocated to Beekman, NY in 1961 as part of the IBM expansion in the Hudson Valley. They were determined to raise their family in a diverse community and they found their home at 4 Baker Road, a historic home where they resided for 51 years.
Gay quickly involved herself in the community. She served in the Cub Scouts as a den mother, in the Girl Scouts, on the board of the Beekman Athletic Club, as a founder of the Beekman Library Association, as a “lady in blue” for Congressman Hamilton Fish, and as a councilwoman on the Beekman Town Board for 2 terms.
Gay, a member of the DAR, had an intense interest in history developed first through family research and then through the love of the historic home where she resided. She reveled in the tales of those long-established residents who preserved the memories of life in rural Beekman. It was only natural that she became first President of the Beekman Historical Society and later, Town Historian. In retirement, she participated in Marist College’s Center for Lifetime Study programs.
After the nest emptied at Baker Road, Gay went to work in several local shops, most notably the Craftsman where she was known for her taste in helping to pick the right gift for special occasions.
Gay was especially happy on Long Beach Island NJ where she hosted her extended family for many summer vacations and on Thanksgiving for the gathering of young and old in a celebration of family. An avid gardener, she also loved being in the flower gardens surrounding her home and decorating her home with freshly cut flowers.
Gay was predeceased by her parents, her husband Robert and her brother Craig Wilson.
She is survived by her brother Parker Wilson and his wife Jill, and her sister Gwynneth Wolstenholme. Also surviving are her son Bradford, his wife Barbara and their sons Travis and Stephen and his wife Gwen Hopkins, her son Christopher and his wife Laura Battle, and her daughter Allison Rullman, her husband Loren and daughter Cailey as well as numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Gay’s family sincerely thanks all of the staff at the Baptist Home for their compassion, care, and empathy over the last 7 years.
The family will receive friends at the Hufcut Funeral Home, 3159 Rt. 22, Dover Plains NY 12522 on Sunday, April 7 from 1-4. Funeral services will be Monday, April 8 at Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook, NY at 12 pm followed by burial in the Clove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dutchess County Historical Society, P.O. Box 88, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602. For directions or to send the family an online condolence, please visit http://www.hufcutfuneralhome.com