Jessica Field Gay passed away peacefully on February 9, 2020, at home in the company of her family. The cause was complications from breast cancer.
Born on May 15, 1949 in New York City, she was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William W. Field of New Haven, Conn. Her maternal grandfather was Brigadier General John R. Kilpatrick, former board chairman of Madison Square Garden. Her paternal grandfather was Mr. John Field, board chairman of Warnaco, Incorporated. She was presented to society in 1967 at the Grosvenor Ball and was a member of the New York Junior Assemblies.
An alumna of The Brearley School and The Masters School, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she met her future husband, and an MS Ed from Bank Street College of Education in New York.
After years of teaching in New York City (PS145) and Washington D.C. (Beauvoir, Lafayette Elementary, and the Soviet Embassy School), she and her husband Bob moved to Rye, N.Y., where they raised their three children. Mrs. Gay took on leadership roles in many community organizations, including the Children’s Aid Society; The Masters School; Rye Presbyterian Church; Rye City schools, serving as president of the Rye Middle School PTO and co-president of the Rye High School PTO; and the Lynde Point Land Trust in Connecticut.
She thoroughly loved her role as mother and grandmother, and her love of cooking brought family and friends together. She was also an accomplished golfer, a committed conservationist, and an avid traveler.
For 20 years, she quietly battled breast cancer and was an inspiration to others who must deal with the disease. All the while, she remained active in her communities of Rye and Fenwick, Conn. She was renowned for her strength and cheerful stoicism and was beloved by all who knew her well.
She is survived by her devoted husband of 46 years, Robert S. Gay; their three children, Stephanie (Albert), Elizabeth (Ryan), and Jamie (Isabel); her grandsons, Grayson, Wyatt, Theo, and Elliott; and her two brothers, William and Kenneth Field, with whom she was very close.
A memorial service is planned in her honor on February 29 at 2 p.m. at Rye Presbyterian Church.
Donations in Jessica Gay’s memory may be made to the Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital.