Richard Frederick Gays
Richard Frederick Gays, age 76, of Newark, DE, passed away gently in the early morning of Friday, December 25, 2020, from complications of Alzheimers, wrapped in the love of his family and friends. “Santa needed a wingman and Richard naturally was the first to volunteer”, suggested a dear friend.
He was born in Milwaukee, WI in 1944, and was a son of the late Thomas and Dorothy (Vierheilig) Gays. Richard graduated from Hammond High School in Alexandria, VA in 1962 and from the former Campbell College, now Campbell University, in 1966. He received his teaching certification from Lenore-Rhyne College and a master’s degree from the University of California Northridge.
Richard spent 45 years serving deaf and hard of hearing children in various capacities; as a teacher at the Maryland School for the Deaf, administrator at Delaware School for the Deaf, Dean of Students at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT and as Director of Instruction at the Scranton State School for the Deaf. For the past 30 years until retirement, he served as the Statewide Coordinator of Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children for the state of Delaware. Richard loved traveling all over the state visiting schools and families and knew every back road and diner in Delaware.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 45 years, Susan Hilton Gays; sons, Christopher (Kimberlee) and Robert; brother, Wann (Irene); grandchildren, Camryn and Ben; in-laws, Bill Hilton (Colleen), Margaret Cloutier (Jim) and Peter Hess (Mary), 12 nieces and nephews; and several great nieces and nephews.
Richard will be remembered for his twinkling blue eyes, his love of a good prank and his boundless curiosity. Service to others was his life, and he could be depended on to volunteer for anything; serving on the boards of Delaware Association of School Administrators, the Newark Senior Center, Kirkwood Soccer Club, Nottingham Swim Club and the Newark Area Welfare Committee, to name a few. Richard could also be found dishing out corn at Hope Dining Room or shoveling out the entire neighborhood after winter snowstorms. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for a friend or a stranger in need.
The family wishes thank the wonderful team from Home Instead Senior Care, especially Doris, Connie, and Anthony, for the exceptional care they provided Richard until the end. We could not have managed without them.
A celebration of Richard’s life will be held at a time when it is safe to gather. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in his memory to the Newark Senior Center, 200 Whitechapel Drive, Newark, DE 19713 or to the Newark Area Welfare Committee, P.O. Box 951, Newark, DE 19715. Or, please do something for someone in need.