|Birth: ||Sep. 10, 1913|
|Death: ||Nov. 30, 2011|
Agatha Gay Johnson Hathaway died peacefully at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge on Wednesday, November 30, 2011.
Born born in Alexandria on September 10, 1913, the only child of Agatha Gay Allen and Conrad Johnson, Gay was a tenacious and spirited woman, 9th in descent from Pocahontas and John Rolfe, with her other forebearers being among the first Scots, Welsh, Irish, and Germans to settle in Virginia.
During the First World War, Gay grew up in Alexandria, Staunton, then Washington while her mother worked as a Yeoman, First Class, for the United States Navy Department and her father, Conrad (VMI, 1908), a captain in the 116th Infantry of the 29th Division, the Blue and Grey, fought and was wounded in the Muese-Argonne offensive. At war's end, she barely survived the great flu pandemic, then, after her parents divorced, moved to Charlottesville where her mother ran the dining room at the Lyndhall Apartments on University Circle. In 1924, when her mother married Dr. Oscar Swineford, they all moved to 36 University Circle. Gay attended Miss Nancy Gordon's and St Anne's School, and, besides being a fearless riding companion to Grover Vandevender, had a heady social life, dancing to the Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson Orchestras, from Orange to the Cotton Club in Harlem. She enjoyed traveling, spending the summer of 1930 in Vienna with her mother and Dr. Swineford, then later in the 1930's, driving to California in a travel trailer. In 1937, at University Chapel, she married Manning Kimmel, an officer in the submarine service, and joined him in New London, Manitowoc, New Orleans, San Francisco, Honolulu, Shanghai, and later, Manila, where their daughter, Agatha Kimmel was born in 1940. Gay and Agatha returned to Virginia in 1941 where Gay volunteered for the American Red Cross. War broke out, and they were not to have much time left with Manning, lost in 1944 with his command, the USS Robalo, off Palawan. In the postwar years, Gay began a second family when she and Bobs Blair married at Pine Knots, her family's home on Georgetown Road, followed by a move to New York City, then out to Long Island. As a new Long Islander, Gay was never far from the clear waters of Cold Spring Harbor. She continued riding, studied painting with George Grosz, and had three children. In 1964, she and Bobs parted company, and Gay moved to Pine Knots, not far from Grover's Fox Field on the Garth Road where she began riding again. She has lived in Charlottesville since, although her frequent travels have taken her all across America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa where she visited friends, children, and grandchildren. She spent her winters working with her cousin, Bernard Caperton, in the antiques trade and her summers keeping the books for the Hither Creek Boatyard and swimming the cold waters off Nantucket with her childhood friends, Katu and Thomas Craven, and her younger cousin, Lesslie Crowell. In 1978, after surviving ovarian cancer, she married Captain Amos Hathaway, United States Navy, Retired, who predeceased her in 1996. Gay will be buried beside Katu and Tommy at St. Paul's, Ivy. Gay parted with Pine Knots in 1994, and moved to a cottage on Pantops Mountain at Westminster Canterbury, where she enjoyed daily swimming, more time to travel, and the company of friends. After breaking her hip twice and losing her first daughter, Agatha, and her grandson, Michael de la Rue, in 2003, Gay made herself at home on the second floor of the health care center where she continued to enjoy her life these past eight years, thanks to the Health Care Staff and their expert attention, and Betty Mooney, who kept Gay on a steady program of chocolate, champagne, Virginia peanuts, and frequent drives up the Blue Ridge. She had a full life over her 98 years.
Gay is survived by her daughters, Ann de la Rue and Cecelia Blair, and her son, Rob Blair; four grandchildren, and three great-grandsons.
Gay was a member of Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the University League, Saint Paul's Memorial Church, and the Albemarle Garden Club where she served a term as president. She loved feisty terriers, smart cars, the beach, throwing parties with a big mix of guests and old-school jazz, all sorts of architecture and funny houses, gardening with Marvin Hawkins and Gleason Thoms, and her family.
A memorial service for Gay was held at Westminster Canterbury Friday, December 2, 2011.
The family asked that flowers not be sent, but plant some if you like, or make a contribution to the dogs and cats at the Albemarle SPCA in her memory.
Manning Marius Kimmel (1913 - 1944)
Manning Marius Kimmel (1913 - 1946)
Agatha G Kimmel (1940 - 2003)*
Created by: Andie Parrish
Record added: Nov 30, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81278505