Gay Gibson Pinder

                    December 31, 1920  -  March 14, 2012

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Life Legacy

Gay Gibson Pinder of Melfa, VA, was born in Lexington, VA on December 31, 1920 as the VMI cannons were fired to welcome in the new year and celebrate her birth! And what a life she has had!

Born with a “happy heart”, Gay was the third daughter of The Rev. Dr. Churchill Gibson and Gay Blackford Lloyd Gibson. Her grandfathers were The Rt. Rev. Robert Atkinson Gibson, Bishop of Virginia, and The Rt. Rev. Arthur Selden Lloyd, Suffragan Bishop of New York. Her sisters were Betsy (Franklin) and Susan (Davenport), and the three were known as the “Gibson Girls” in Richmond, VA, where Dr. Gibson served for over thirty years as the rector of St. James Episcopal Church. Gay grew up roller skating on the sidewalks of downtown Richmond. When Gay was 10, she and her sisters were joined by brother Churchill. As a teen she drove around in a Pierce Arrow with her older sisters, picking up children to bring to Sunday School at St. James to add diversity as her father had instructed. Gay attended St. Catherines and Oldfields. She had two years at RPI.

She was courted by many but fell in love and married Joseph William Pinder of another staunch Richmond family. During the war when Joe was a glider pilot, Gay and Joe lived in Brazil and told stories of dancing on the beach during Carnival. They returned to Richmond to have Gay Lloyd followed in two years by Anne Winston. Joseph William Jr. was born while Joe was at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.

Gay’s profession is listed as clergy spouse extraordinaire, Mother, Grandmother, and political progressive. She served side by side with her most versatile and active husband Joe Pinder, adding support, spice and spirit to his work as an Episcopal minister beginning at Wicomico Church where their fourth child, Churchill, was born. In 1954 the family moved to Halifax where Joe was the rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church and their fifth child, Betsy, was born. In 1960 they moved to Richmond where they founded Church of the Redeemer in Chesterfield County. During that creative period, Gay spoke of the fact that the congregation included CEO’s sitting side by side with maintenance workers, a concept far ahead of its time as the different stratas of society came together to worship in an emerging congregation that continues to thrive. In 1966 they moved to Virginia Beach to start All Saint’s Episcopal Church, following that exciting model of a community church.

When Joe retired in 1977, they moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and lived in a van while they built their first Eastern Shore house, assisted by their two sons, Churchill and Joe, on the banks of Pungoteague Creek. They built the round house in 1987 and Joe died in 1992.

For the past 20 years Gay has continued to live in the round house, socially active in the community and becoming a dear friend and mentor for many. She has always been active in the Episcopal Church, well versed in church history and protocol. Church Women United was near and dear to her heart! She was an active member of the DAR and, as an 11th great-granddaughter of Pocohontas, she was also a proud member of the Colonial Dames. She served with the first board of Hospice of the Eastern Shore, and served on the board of the AICC (Accomack Interfaith Crisis Council).

Known as “Mummy” to many, Gay was a political progressive and proud of it! She had an inclusive spirit. She loved Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now”, Jon Stewart, and stayed up to date and had an educated opinion about current events. Gay also had an extraordinary love and memory for family history back several hundred years and worked hard to pass that information on to us, the next generation.

She loved and was loved by her five grandchildren, Myra, Abby, and Anne Lloyd Batchelder and Rhys and Kristina Pinder, and by many nieces and nephews, and her daughters-in-law, Jean and Sally, all of whom learned from her straightforward honest approach to people and life.

A funeral service celebrating Gay’s life will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Onancock, VA, on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM with The Right Reverend Ted Gulick officiating. Urn interment will be at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Accomack Interfaith Crisis Council, P.O. Box 738, Onley, VA 23418 or the Fragile Hearts Children’s Support Group, C/O Hospice of the Eastern Shore, 165 Market Street, Suite 3, Onancock, VA 23417.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at or

Arrangements by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

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Born: December 31, 1920

Place of Birth: Lexington , VA

Death: March 14, 2012

Place of Death: Melfa, VA

Occupation: Political Progressive, Servant of the Lord

Memorial donations may be made to:
the Accomack Interfaith Crisis Council, P.O. Box 738, Onley, VA 23418 or to the Fragile Hearts Children’s Support Group, C/O Hospice of the Eastern Shore, 165 Market Street, Suite 3, Onancock, VA 23417.

This memorial provided by:
Williams Funeral Homes
Onancook, VA