Juanita Elizabeth Gay was the second born to the union of Richard Lenzie Gay, Sr., and Mary L. Smith Gay. She was educated in the public schools of Dougherty County and was an honor graduate of Monroe High School. Juanita continued her education at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Albany State College. She also earned a Master of Education at Georgia Southwestern State University. Juanita Gay was a dedicated educator in the Dougherty County and Thomas County School Systems where she touched the lives of many scholars. She never stopped teaching even though she retired in 1997 from Dougherty Comprehensive High School. Ms. Gay was a professional educator as demonstrated in her affiliation with her professional organizations (GTEA, DCAE, GAE and NEA).
Ms. Gay, affectionately called Sis-Sis was a family person. She loved her family. She did not have any children of her own, but you would not know that because she took care of all her nieces and nephews. She was a mom to all of them as well as those who adopted her.
As a long time, member for more than 60 years at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Ms. Gay served as the Church Clerk. She was a clerk like no other. She held a plethora of information in her personal data base (her head). She could rattle off phone numbers and addresses without looking up information in any computer. She really did not like computers.
Her door was always open. Ms. Gay touched the lives of many people during her tenure at Mount Zion. She often used her own resources to help others. There was no place Ms. Gay preferred to be than at Mount Zion.
Ms. Gay was not only a member of Mount Zion, but she was extremely active in numerous ministries to include: General Missionary Society Circle #1, Nurture for Baptist, and Leisure Plus. She spent long days and nights serving others and planning for the different organizations. Her work with the various organizations began under the mentorship of Mrs. Mamie L. Daniels. Ms. Gay served as the financial liason and secretary for the Fowltown District Congress of Christian Education; as secretary for the Georgia Missionary Baptist Convention of GA, Inc.; and as registrar for the Georgia State Congress of Christian Education. Ms. Gay also served as the liaison between Mount Zion Baptist Church and the GIK Partners of World Vision - Albany.
Juanita E. Gay was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings. Her brother Benjamin died in infancy. Richard and Caroline transitioned several years ago. Ms. Gay leaves her sister Mary V. Gay (Johnny) and her brother Robert 'Bobby" Gay - both of Albany, GA, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends to cherish her memory.