Eugenia Gay Thompson, 68, of Acme, passed peacefully into God’s arms on Friday, November 22, 2019, at Latrobe Hospital. Gay, who was born August 31, 1951, was the last surviving member of her immediate family. She was predeceased by her parents, Eugene and Jane Endsley of Uniontown; and her brother, Bill Endsley of Delaware, who passed away in April of 2019. She is survived by her cousins, Miranda DeJarnatt and Faye Clark of Utah; and her beloved pet, Jazzy.
She was a retired art teacher from the Connellsville School District, leaving the profession in 2007 after 34 years. Though she left teaching, she never stopped being a teacher.
Gay was a 1969 graduate of Uniontown High School and a 1973 graduate of Edinboro University. Over the course of her 34 years, she not only taught her students masterfully, but also personally touched the majority of the district’s employees through her accomplishments. Two awards she received were the PAEA Outstanding Pennsylvania Middle Art Educator of the Year (1993), and her inclusion in The Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
Her impact on everyone within the Connellsville School District was equally impressive. Gay chaired the Connellsville “Art for Young Child” Curriculum Task Force that resulted in publication of a K-3 curriculum guide. This was invaluable to all elementary teachers. Gay served as the Public Relations Director for the district education association and published billboards and a bi-annual Calendar of Events for distribution in the community. This impacted the entire town.
She was described by her colleagues as dynamic, high energy and exceptionally creative. Art to Gay was serious business even though she was always down to earth. Because she was highly respected in the art profession, Gay acted as a cooperating teacher of student teachers from Seton Hill College and as an art education student observation site teacher for Penn State, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and California University of Pennsylvania.
Art is created privately but admired publically. Gay’s art works have been displayed at the Westmoreland Art Nationals (W.C.C.C.), the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival, the Seton Hill College Art Educators show and in her one-woman show at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Gay did all of these things, but her greatest and most cherished accomplishment came from her students who saw in her not only a teacher, but also a counselor, an advisor, and often, a friend. She taught them many things: clay, painting, pointillism, scratch art, drawing, water color, plastic design and art history. What they learned from her.......you gotta have art!
A special thank you goes out to all the angels on The Latrobe Hospital team who gave Gay such wonderful care.
Gay desired to have a private service. However, at some future date, her family and friends will hold a memorial service so that all who knew her will be able to honor her life. Arrangements announced by the STEPHEN R. HAKY FUNERAL HOME, Uniontown.