Deceased December 19, 2020

image of john hay
image of john Hay and his wife

image of john Hay and his family

From the Olio 1963: 1540 Forrest View Dr., Kirkwood 22, Mo.  Prepared at St. Louis Country Day School.  Delta Kappa Epsilon, Rushing Chairman.  Major:  English.  OLIO.  SABRINA, Editor.  Masquers.  Mardi Gras Committee.  Christian Association.  Sailing Club: 1, 2.

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In Memory

Our dear friend John Hay died on Dec. 19, 2020, of complications following heart surgery. John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Carol Squire Hay; his children, Katherine Hay, Margaret Hay Howson (and Philip) and Matthew Hay (and Michelle); his much-loved six grandchildren; and many friends.

John was born on March 10, 1941, and spent his youth in St. Louis, attending St. Louis Country Day School before Amherst. His strong Amherst friendships—many from the Valentine East breakfast crew—lasted all his life. Two of John’s many passions were religion and drama. He was Claudius in Hamlet at Amherst, improvising in perfect iambic pentameter once when he forgot his lines. He earned his M.A. in divinity in 1968 and his M.F.A. in drama in 1972, both at Yale. John taught drama at Simon’s Rock College of Bard and was the minister of the Mount Washington Church of Christ, building a house in that small Massachusetts town and forging with its people a lifelong bond. Later John was minister of the Congregational Church of Salisbury, Conn., and then senior minister of United Church in New Haven, Conn. After his retirement, John served several Connecticut churches as interim minister and practiced Jungian counseling.     

John was enthusiasm itself. He believed passionately in the power of the spirit to transcend and ameliorate human pain and frailty. He helped countless students, parishioners and friends with their lives, always listening with loving patience and inspiring many to serve others. He became a sculptor late in life and was always bold, taking up, with serious purpose, travel, sailing (at Silver Bay on Lake George), hiking, canoeing, bicycling, house building (two houses!) and astronomy. John lived life fully. Those who lived it with him shared in its joy.

Hans Bergmann ’63