Captain Donald G. Hay, USN (Ret.) (1934-2014)

Captain Donald G. "Don" Hay, USN (RET) passed away August 28, 2014 at the age of 80 in Kennewick, Washington, finally succumbing to a combination of impairments and terminal diseases acquired during his years of service in the United States Navy and while working at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state.

Don was born July 31, 1934 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Mildred Maud (Sidlinger) and George Christian Hay. Don attended a two room country school until the fourth grade in Bertram, Iowa; elementary school in Marion, Iowa, and Marion High School. In 1956 he graduated with a B.A. from Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In 1955 Don married his high school sweetheart, Joan Alice Petrusch and they remained married for thirty one years. They were divorced in 1986.

Don joined the United States Navy in 1956 through the Officer Candidate School Program and subsequently served in the Navy for thirty years. His Naval service saw him on most of the World's oceans and seas and he came to love being at sea. Over fourteen of his thirty years were spent where he loved to be, at sea. He served in various capacities on numerous ships: Engineer Officer aboard USS EVERETT F. LARSON (DDR 830); Operations officer aboard USS MASSEY (DD778); Spike and Plank Owner, and Engineer Officer of USS WADDELL (DDG 25); and Executive Officer aboard USS TURNER JOY (DD951). His at-sea staff commands were USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DDG 36) and DESTROYER SQUADRON SEVENTEEN. His at-sea staff positions were Chief Staff Officer for COMMANDER DESTROYER SQUADRON ELEVEN and Chief of Staff for COMMANDER CARRIER GROUP EIGHT/NATO CARRIER STRIKING FORCE ATLANTIC. Don was a Surface Warfare and Anti-submarine Warfare Specialist, with other specialties in steam propulsion system engineering and ship maintenance and material management. He made eight deployments to the Western Pacific and Viet Nam aboard various ships, and two to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Arabia with Battle Group BRAVO [USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64)]. He also made two NATO Cruises to the North Atlantic, including operating in waters off the northern coast of Russia.

Shore duty service saw a tour as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the University of Kansas teaching naval engineering and management; Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where he studied engineering sciences; Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (Surface Ordnance Logistics) in the Pentagon; Officer in Charge of the Navy's Surface Effect Ship Test Facility in Patuxent River, Maryland and Contracting Officers Technical Representative for the Surface Effect Ship Program Manager; Senior Examiner, Commander in Chief United States Pacific Fleets Surface Propulsion Examining Board; Commanding Officer of the Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity in San Diego, California; and Assistant Chief of Staff for Warfare Requirements and Tactics for the Commander, Surface Forces, Pacific. His last tour of duty before retirement involved standing up the new Force Performance Division in the SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS COMMAND (SPAWAR).

Captain Hay received many awards and recognitions during his Naval Career, including; two Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Navy Expeditionary Medal (Quemoy), the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorius Unit Citation and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

After retirement Don was hired by Honeywell Incorporated's Underseas Division and took a job as manager of Honeywell's Mark 50 torpedo Testing Facility in Keyport, Washington. He later found employment at the Department of Energy's Hanford of Nuclear Energy Site in eastern Washington, working in several different managerial and senior consultant positions for a variety of companies: Westinghouse Hanford, Kaiser Engineers Hanford, and DynCorp Incorporated.

Don met his soul mate, Sandra Lee Stumpf, in church in Richland, Washington in 1989. They were married July 27, 1991. Sandy and Don often said that they married to learn each other's fly fishing secrets, but there really never was any contest because Sandy always out-fished Don. What they truly shared was a deep and growing passion for the Lord and His Word and Ways.

Don finally retired in July 1999. That fall he took his Walk to Emmaus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, sponsored by his brother, Robert E. Hay of Marion, Iowa. Don experienced an Epiphany during his Walk that significantly influenced the rest of his life, the change he had been looking for. This was reinforced when he was baptized as an aware adult November 11, 2007 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Sandy and Don had become full-time RV-ers following his retirement and traveled the Western United States, Canada and Alaska for two years. They dropped anchor and resided for ten years in Hereford, Arizona where they made many friends and enjoyed the diversity of both the environment and the cultures. They returned to the Tri-Cities of Washington State and settled in Pasco, Washington in February 2012. Don continued to keep his Faith growing during his final, trying months, knowing the Lord's plan for him was working out exactly as the Creator intended. Don is survived by Sandy, his loving wife of twenty three years, and his children: son John Christian (Martha) Hay, granddaughter Allison Christine Hay in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; grandson David Wegner Hay of St. Paul, Minnesota; son James Daren (Melinda) Hay, granddaughter Darcey Dawn (Dusty) Land, great-grandsons Rayden and Ramzey, all of Albuquerque, New Mexico; daughter Meagan Elizabeth Hay Moore of Iowa City, Iowa; granddaughter Victoria Joan (Lucas Smith) of Parnell, Iowa. He is also survived by his older sister, Leota Marie Kassler of Chariton, Iowa; niece, Barbara Kassler (Mike) Wells and their son Ben of Storm Lake, Iowa; nephew, David Kassler, of Rochester, Minnesota; younger brother, Robert Edward (Joyce) Hay of Marion, Iowa; nephews Thomas Allen Hay of Hutchinson, Kansas; Michael Edward Hay of Emporia, Kansas; Stephen Douglas Hay of Marion, Iowa; niece Laura Jean McLain of Eldridge, Iowa. Don also lovingly claimed as step children Sandy's progeny - her son J. Jay (Ketra) Stumpf; grandson 2nd Lt. Brandon Stumpf in the United States Army; grandson Devyn Austin Stumpf of Pasco, Washington; Sandy's very special daughter Annette LaSandra Cobb (Millege Stacy) of Kennewick, Washington; grandson Kelly Raven (Chancy); great-granddaughter Kaylee Elizabeth Cobb of Finley, Washington.

In due course a Veterans Administration Headstone will be set for Captain Hay at the burial site in Marion. It will be inscribed "PRO ARIS ET FOCIS" ("For God and Country").

Don requested that any memorials be directed to the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy, 2108 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336, whose very caring and compassionate people helped both Don and Sandy navigate the last few course settings of his final voyage through life. May you have fair winds and following seas, Captain Hay.

A memorial service will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Service, 9353 W. Clearwater Ave, Kennewick, at 3:00 pm on August 30, 2014.

I have something to say publically about Lt. Hay. 
He like Mr. Gartrell, were my hero's. He gave me the drive, encouragement, and freedom to be the very best that I could be. For whatever reason Mr. Hay singled out several of us in the Engineering Department to push ourselves beyond the normal encouragement, given to subordinates. For that I am forever grateful. 
 
Bill Howe
Former CWO3 (Machinist)