Obituary of Prescott Hamner Gay
Prescott Hamner Gay, Sr, 67 years old, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family after a heroic battle with cancer on September 14, 2019. Prescott was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on December 27, 1953 to the late Henry Hamner (Ham) Gay and Julia Ivey Gay.
Prescott attended Lynchburg City Schools and graduated from the Virginia Episcopal School in 1970. He earned the Bachelor of Arts in History from Hampden Sydney college in 1974, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond in 1977.
Prescott practiced law in Lynchburg and surrounding counties for 41 years. He initially focused on court-appointed cases defending indigents, eventually built a diverse civil and criminal law practice, and later specialized in commercial real estate law as a partner with Freeman Dunn Alexander Gay Lucy & Coates, PC.
Prescott’s quick, dry wit served him well inside and outside the courtroom. His keen humor was most appreciated at family gatherings where he was renowned for “discovering” and reading aloud from his endless supply of humorous poems written under fictitious pen names.
Prescott’s passion was football. A loyal supporter of the VES Bishops and Hampden Sydney Tigers, he later became a devoted fan of the Virginia Cavaliers and the Washington Redskins, and rarely missed a game. His gift for cooking over charcoal was legendary. His superbly grilled Sunday steaks were deemed worthy of Michelin stars.
Prescott’s ready smile and fellowship will be sorely missed, particularly by friends from the Squires Club and from his regular lunchtime gatherings at the Cavalier.
Prescott is survived by his beloved wife of 33 years, Virginia Ward Heppner Gay; his son, Prescott Hamner Gay Jr of Roanoke, Virginia; his daughter, Virginia Hamilton Gay, a student at the College of Charleston in South Carolina; his sister Parke Goodall Gay Messier, her husband Tim, and their children Prescott Ryan Messier and Parke Grayson Messier; brother-in-law Donald Gray Heppner Jr. and wife Mary Leach Heppner of Crozet, VA and their children Charlotte Nathalie Heppner, Virginia Heppner McMillin and husband Robert McMillin, and William Lynch Heppner; brother-in-law David Alexander Spotswood Heppner Sr of Lynchburg and his children David Alexander Spotswood Heppner Jr and Caroline Frances Heppner; brother-in-law Christopher Lynch Heppner Sr and his wife Amy Basten Heppner of Lynchburg, VA, and their son, Christopher Lynch Heppner Jr; and nephew Christopher Gray Aiello of Bridgeport, CT.
A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, September 20, 2019, at St John’s Episcopal Church in Lynchburg. The family will receive family and friends at a reception following the memorial service at the home of Amy and Chris Heppner, 4135 Peakland Place.To send flowers to the family of Prescott Gay, please visit Tribute Store