November 01, 2000
Gayford F. Wilson Dr. Gayford F. Wilson, 91, passed away of a heart attack on October 16, 2000 in Ventura.Gay, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, practiced optometry in Santa Paula for 30 years, retiring in 1979. He was a long-time member of the Santa Paula Lions Club and Masonic Lodge, a charter member of the Ventura County Scottish Rite, and a member of the Fillmore-Santa Paula Shrine Club. He served as president of the Tri-Counties Optometric Association, and as an elder and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Paula.Gay had a deep passion for the game of golf. He had the honor of being designated a life-time member of the Saticoy Country Club, where he shot his age more than once. He could describe each of his games, hole by hole. Gay also enjoyed water skiing, taking many family vacations to various lakes around California, Nevada and Arizona. He amazed everyone by skiing until he was 90.Gay loved to build things. He built his house in Santa Paula, doing 80 percent of the work himself including all the cabinetry. He built a workshop behind his home in Ventura and spent many pleasant hours there designing and building everything from a patio cover to toys for his grandchildren.Gay was born in Newberg, Oregon on November 15, 1908 to Albert and Lesta Wilson. He graduated from Oregon State College with a degree in Industrial Arts Education in 1931. The Great Depression prevented him from pursuing a career in education; instead, Gay and his brothers staked a claim on the Rogue River near Galice in southern Oregon and panned for gold for 11 months. They didn’t exactly strike it rich, making on 16 cents a day apiece. But living in the outdoors prepared Gay to supervise work in blister rust control, protecting pine trees in Oregon and California from this disease.In 1940 Gay married Helen Veenker and, in 1942, became a tool-and-die maker at Lockheed, where he worked until 1946. At that time he went back to school at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry, graduating in June 1948. After passing the California board for optometry in October of that year, they moved to Santa Paula. Helen died of cancer in 1951. Gay married Rae Lewis Gazzaway in 1952.
Gay is survived by wife, Rae; daughter Cheryl Wilson and grandson Kyle Tripoli; son Gary Wilson and grandchildren Tyler and Nicole Wilson; brothers Lee, Al, Ren and Curt Wilson; and many nieces and nephews.Gay will be remembered for his kind, gentle nature, his sense of humor, and his joy for life. He was a devoted family man and a good friend.A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, October 23 at the First Presbyterian Church, 121 Davis Street, Santa Paula. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Wilson’s memory to the Presbyterian Church, the American Heart Association, or the charity of your choice.Arrangements under the direction of Skillin-Carroll Mortuary, Santa Paula.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.