Steven Joseph Salay, 88, formally of Lynchburg, passed away Sunday, June 1, 2008.
He was born in Arad, a town in the Transylvanian region of what is now Romania, and grew up in Budapest, Hungary. During the Second World War, he was a radio operator with the Hungarian embassies in Rome, Italy, and Athens, Greece, and was held captive by German forces from the fall of 1943 to April 1945.
After the war, he ran an electronics business in Budapest, but then was arrested by the Soviets. He was incarcerated from 1948 until 1956. In 1957, he came to the United States and began working for General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y. By 1959, he had transferred to General Electric's operations in Lynchburg, which became his home for decades. He earned master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, and acquired and remodeled a series of houses, including turning a mill into a home on his second wife's property in Appomattox County. A devout Catholic, he attended Holy Cross and St. Thomas More churches. He was a supporter of Republican politics, Catholic and Native American charities, and for years cared for the alley cats of Lynchburg's Harrison Street. After retiring from GE in the mid-1980s, he moved to Appomattox County in 1991, then to Ironto, in Montgomery County, in 2005.
He was preceded in death by two wives, Nancy Seay Salay and Penelope Mundy Shea Salay.
He is survived by a sister, Barbara Homonnay of Mission Hills, Calif.; a niece, Reka Tomlinson of Mission Hills, Calif., and her daughters Julie Leverton of Mission Hills, Calif., and Jennifer Richards of Sacramento, Calif.; a nephew's family, Stephen and Gagi Homonnay of Columbus, Ohio; and great-nephew Zoltan Homonnay of Abilene, Texas; and four step-daughters and their families: Amy Shea and Mike Gangloff of Ironto and their children Tycho and Willa Shea-Gangloff; Emily and Paul Zarbatany of Charlotte, N.C., and their son John Albert Zarbatany; Laura Shea of Charlottesville and her children Joseph and Colleen Shea; and Julie and Jeff Gallinat of Hong Kong, China, and their children Adam Gallinat of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Amanda Gallinat of Northfield, Minn.; and by sisters-in-law and their spouses Nancy and Tom Zacharczyk of Woodbridge, Clara and Monte Layman of Luray, Alyce Mundy of Cape Cod, Mass., Dewayne and Mary Mundy of Linville, and Carroll Seay of Lovingston.
A graveside service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at Holy Cross Catholic Church Cemetery, Bedford Avenue with Monsignor Kenneth J. Rush officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Holy Cross JOY Fund, C/O Holy Cross Catholic Church, 710 Clay St., Lynchburg, Va. 24504.
Diuguid Funeral Service and Crematory, Wiggington Chapel, is assisting the family.