Cover photo for Gary Don Shay's Obituary
Gary Don Shay Profile Photo

Gary Don Shay

April 22, 1948 — May 28, 2020

Gary Don Shay

Recorded Service YouTube Live

Services for Gary Don Shay, 72, of Cleveland, Oklahoma, will be held Wednesday, 10:30 am at the First Christian Church in Cleveland, Oklahoma. David Logsdon and Bruce DeLay will be officiating services. Burial will follow in the Woodland Cemetery under the direction of Chapman-Black Funeral Home. Friends and family may visit an online guest book and memorial page for Gary at

Gary was born on April 22, 1948, at Hominy, Oklahoma. Gary was the son of Cleo Patrick “Pat” and Emily Elizabeth (Thomlinson), Shay. The family soon moved to Depew, Oklahoma, and later returned to Hominy when Gary was in the second grade. While Gary was in school, he was an active part of the Hominy Buck Band as well as a Key Club member. Gary graduated from Hominy High School in 1966. He furthered his education at Oklahoma State University for one year before transferring to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Gary studied pharmacology and graduated with his Pharm. D. Degree. On May 19, 1973, Gary was united in marriage to the love of his life Susan Spess in Cleveland, Oklahoma, at the First Christian Church. The couple established their first home in Bartlesville, where Gary worked at the local pharmacy. They later returned to Cleveland, where he gained employment at Cleveland Drug. Gary has also worked at Ponca City Medicine Shoppe, and in 1986, he moved his family to Pryor, Oklahoma, where he owned Professional Pharmacy. In 1996, Gary and Susan moved back to Cleveland, where they have continued to reside. For several years, Gary worked as the Pharmacist at K-Mart locations in Bartlesville and Sand Springs. Gary was most recently employed at Spess Oil Company as their Perforation and Logging Engineer.

Gary enjoyed rhythm and blues music. He also enjoyed spending time in New Mexico as well as Yellowstone National Park. When he was younger, he bowled in a league for several years. Gary also enjoyed challenging projects and always seemed to figure out how to make it work. He loved to work and is described as a stoic, soft-hearted, and quiet man.

Gary passed from this life on Thursday, May 28, 2020, at his home in Cleveland, Oklahoma.

Survivors include his wife Susan of the home; three children: Daniel Andrew Shay and his wife China of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Matthew Patrick Shay and his wife Nikki of Sand Springs, Oklahoma; Bradley Douglas Shay and his wife Nicole of Tulsa, Oklahoma; three siblings: DeAnn Barry, Wilda Shay, Steven Shay; father in law Carol Spess and his wife Romanza; five grandchildren Elwood, Theo, Sophie, Chloe and Everett; as well as numerous other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Pat and Emily Shay and his mother in law, Mary Sue Spess.

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© 2020 (Chapman-Black Funeral Home)

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This obituary is a work protected under international and federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reproduction, distribution or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this compiled work may be reproduced, altered or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

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Past Services


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

10:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First Christian Church - Cleveland

100 South Division Street, Cleveland, OK 74020

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