A sorrowed crowd gathered Wednesday evening at the Waxahachie Civic Center to mourn the passing of Gladys Nay, who was remembered for her many, many contributions to family, friends and the community at large.

The former First Lady of Waxahachie and Crape Myrtle Queen was remembered for her many accomplishments and philanthropic work with innumerable organizations and groups. Nay and her husband, Darell, also were co-honorees of Waxahachie Citizen of the Year honors in 1997.

She also was remembered for her strong commitment to her family as a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Family friend, Beverly Worthington, recalled several special anecdotes from Nay’s life, balancing humor and sadness as she spoke of a community and family booster who lived life fully.

“Glady was a very special person loved by all,” Worthington said. “And everyone has their own special memory of her.”

Noting the blessing people had in Nay’s friendship, Worthington also read from a poem Nay had written that included the phrase, “Dare to be happy … reachout and capture the joy of today.”

“So, goodbye, our friend,” Worthington said in ending her remarks. “I know we’ll see you again. The love you gave us through the years will help with these tears until we see you again.”

The Rev. Jerry Galloway spoke of the “heart gifts” Nay had left behind, mentioning also the love she and her husband had shared through the years.

“Gladys had a heart this big,” Galloway said, stretching his arms out wide before adding that many of the stories of her generosity were only now becoming known as people came forward to say how she had helped them.

“Beverly listed so many things about Gladys, but there are so many other things that we don’t know about, and those are the heart gifts,” he said.

As a celebration of Nay’s life, Galloway then read from a written remembrance of her as written by one of her sons, Terry, the day of the funeral.

“Mom was a true lady in every way. … She was a servant in every sense of the word, always putting others’ needs and desires before her own,” the remembrance read. “ … She was a loving wife and mother, not only to her own family, but to all who ever need a mother.”

The remembrance spoke also of the many roles Nay had filled in her life, describing her as “the glue that held our family together” as well as “a gracious humanitarian, a lover of life and a lover of people. …

“Our world is a much better place because of her,” the remembrance ended.

The Rev. Jim Olney spoke on the theme of “A Love - A Faith - A Life,” reading from several scriptures and talking of Nay’s faith in Jesus Christ.

“No doubt she served Christ, and Christ was in her life,” he said.

“You all have heard of the many ways Darell and Gladys reached out to touch others’ lives,” he said. “They shared and they’ve been models of sharing. … They loved the giving, and no one knows the numbers (of people) the Nays have helped through the years.”

Nay will be missed, Olney said, expressing thankfulness for everyone having had the opportunity to have had her in their lives.

Nay, 75, passed away Sunday, June 10. She was born to Max and Augusta Schmidt, in San Antonio and was a graduate of Edison High School, class of 1950. She and her husband married in January 1962, moving in 1963 to Waxahachie, where they established The Nay Company Inc. and were active members of First United Methodist Church, Waxahachie.

Her civic and business involvement included United Way of West Ellis County; Nicholas P. Sims Library; West Ellis County Family Emergency Services; many Waxahachie ISD programs, Waxahachie YMCA; American Business Women’s Association; Waxahachie Federal Savings and Loan Bank board; First Lady of Waxahachie 1991; Waxahachie Foundation board; second vice president and director of Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce; fire commissioner for Rural Fire Protection District No. 7; Presidential Award, Waxahachie Chamber, 1992; first Crape Myrtle Queen of Waxahachie, 1999; Citizens of the Year Award, Waxahachie Chamber, 1997; supporter Ellis County Salvation Army; supporter Senior Citizens Center, Waxahachie; First United Methodist Church various positions; supporter of Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center (Gingerbread House); and a multitude of other community organizations and individuals.

Nay is survived by her husband Darell; sons, Troy and wife Lauren, of Carrollton, Terry and wife Jamie of Waxahachie; grandchildren, Jared, Alora, Mason and Corbin; sisters, Alga and husband Reggy Trammell of Lytle, Texas, Yvonne Wood of Mico, Texas, and Maxine Schmidt of Waxahachie, Texas; brother, Max and wife Pamela Schmidt of San Antonio, Texas; more than 40 nieces and nephews; numerous other family members, and a multitude of friends.

E-mail JoAnn at editor@waxahachiedailylight.com