Cover photo for William "Bill" Lawrence Gay's Obituary
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1956 William 2023

William "Bill" Lawrence Gay

May 18, 1956 — March 13, 2023

Atlantic Beach

William “Bill” Lawrence Gay passed away suddenly on March 13, 2023.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th at First Methodist Church, 900 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC, presided by Rev. Powell Osteen. A Celebration of Life will take place following the service at Promise Land Market.

He was born on May 18, 1956, in Kinston, North Carolina, the third child of Marilynn Ferrell Gay and Joseph Daniel Gay.  He graduated from Kinston High School in 1974 and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He returned to Kinston after college, where he met and married Phyllis Annette Johnson. They had 3 children together and grew their family in Kinston before moving to Greenville, NC in 2002.

Bill had a successful career as a respiratory medical salesperson and was consistently awarded salesperson of the year on a national level.  Bill loved UNC sports, traveling, and being anywhere on the water. He enjoyed time with his dogs (and grand dogs) and was often seen walking them around the neighborhood. He especially loved summers at Atlantic Beach, NC, where he and Phyllis retired fulltime in 2021. He will be remembered for his fun-loving personality, sarcasm, and throwing up the hang loose sign.

He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Phyllis Johnson Gay  (Atlantic Beach, NC); his son, Palmer Austin Gay (Atlantic Beach, NC); his daughters, Kara Johnson Gay and Keeley Ferrell Gay (Charleston, SC); mother-in-law, Ellen Brinson Johnson (Kinston, NC); sister, Lynn Gay Crawford (Kinston,  NC); brothers, Joseph Daniel Gay, Jr. and wife Sara Beth  (Wilmington, NC) and Mark O’Brian Gay and wife Carol (Linville, NC); and many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Marilynn Gay and father-in-law, Austin Rae Johnson Sr.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a scholarship fund to assist young cancer patients seeking to attend UNC Chapel Hill in memory of Bill. Checks should be made out to “Bill Gay Memorial Scholarship Fund” addressed to 103 Glenn St. Atlantic Beach, NC 28512.

Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at

Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory in Morehead City, NC.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William "Bill" Lawrence Gay, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life Following Service

Sunday, March 19, 2023

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