Marcella Y. ‘Marj’ Hay and John G. ‘Jack’ Hay
Marcella Y. ‘Marj’ Hay
July 31, 1933 – Dec. 12, 2017
John G. ‘Jack’ Hay
June 3, 1925 – Dec. 14, 2017
Marcella Y. “Marj” Hay, 84, died Dec. 12, 2017, and John “Jack” Gardner Hay, 92, died two days later on Dec. 14, 2017. Both passed peacefully in Spokane, Wash., in the company of family and friends.
Marj was born in Butte, Mont., daughter of the late Edward T. and Marcella (Pemberton) Youlden.
Jack was born in Altoona, son of the late Thomas Reed and Jennie (Alcorn) Hay.
Surviving are three children: Michael Hay, Jennifer (Hay) Steward and Juliana “Julie” Hay; a foster daughter, Juanita Selway and family; four grandchildren: Anna Eilertsen, Thomas Eilertsen, Callum Steward and Nathan Steward; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
They were preceded in death by a daughter, Martha Hay; and Marj’s sister, Robbie (Youlden) Gold.
Marj graduated from Butte High School and the University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., with a degree in education. She later earned a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology at Eastern Washington University.
John graduated from Altoona High School and then attended Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history. He served in the U.S. Navy at the end of WWII, with active duty aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis that he completed just days before it was sunk by a Japanese submarine. He was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He later earned a Masters of Divinity degree at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., and he was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1954. His first assignment took him west to the state of Montana, where he met Marj on a blind date, and they married three months later.
Their first child, Michael, was born in Sheridan, Mont. They then moved to Dillon, Mont., where John was called to be the rector of St. James Parish. Their three daughters — Jennifer, Martha and Julie — were born in Dillon. In 1966, John took a position as deputy director with the Peace Corps in Nairobi, Kenya, where the family then relocated. When they returned to the United States 14 months later, they moved the family to Spokane, Wash., where John was called to be the priest at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. They settled permanently in Spokane to raise their family.
During his 23 years at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, John initiated many new programs and achieved many firsts in the diocese, a few of them being the first folk Mass, the first female acolytes, the first Stephen’s Ministry, the first Colum-barium and the first Stations of the Cross for children. He was also a founding member and, later, president of the Spokane County Alcoholic Council. He served on many boards, including Hospice and Planned Parenthood, and he was an active member of the Lions Club and other civic organizations. He also served many diocesan roles, including executive council, board of trustees, standing committee and commission ministry, in addition to leading many retreats. John’s last position, which he held until his passing, was as an assisting priest at Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, where he continued his pastoral care work and led a Bible study group. He loved to write poetry and was proud to have self-published his own book of poems, “The Old Mill,” just days before his death.
Marj had a very full and rewarding career as a speech therapist in private practice, working with the pediatric group at the Rockwood Clinic in Spokane for more than 30 years. She was a board member on the CCC-SLP, and she was also a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She was also active with the Junior League and PEO for more than 50 years.
Marj and John loved traveling together, and they visited many foreign countries, as well as a great deal of the United States. They spent summers at the family lake cabin in Montana, their favorite place to be. They would have celebrated their 60th anniversary in June. They shared an everlasting bond, a deep love and a wicked sense of humor.
A joint memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Spokane, Wash. Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home & Crem-atory, Spokane, Wash.
To honor their lives, the family asks that one consider making a donation to a preferred children’s charity.