We have a resident in our memory care neighborhood that exudes a peacefulness and offers a sweet smile that greets you every time you walk by her. She has been with us for over three years now, and it is high time that we showcased Gay B. as our Resident of the Month!
Gay was born in Shizuoka, Japan in 1926. Shizuoka, which translated means “calm hills,” is in a tea-growing valley with Mount Fuji as the backdrop. Gay’s father was the 37th Generation Priest of the Buddhist temple there. Gay met her husband, Don, after World War II when he was stationed in Japan. She worked in a bomb-making factory at that time.
Throughout their marriage, they lived in many different countries such as Portugal, Turkey, and Germany. Gay had an ear for languages and at one time spoke Portuguese, Turkish, German, French, English and Japanese. The couple finally settled in Smyrna where Don worked at Lockheed.
Gay was a hairdresser and for many years, worked at the beauty salon at Davison’s Department Store in Downtown Atlanta. She had a very elite clientele including many doctor’s wives from Grady Hospital.
One of Gay’s hobbies was native Japanese dancing, and she went to many festivals around the area. She also made beautiful Japanese Kimono Dolls out of paper. The paper would be ordered directly from Japan and she would fashion dolls out this particular paper since it feels somewhat like fabric.
We spoke to Gay’s next-door neighbor of over 40 years, Shirley Bramlett, and she said that they used to go shopping together, and just hang out and talk over their shared fence. She said that Gay was quite chatty and extremely intelligent. After Gay’s husband passed away, Shirley became Gay’s POA and one of Woodland Ridge’s most involved volunteers. Shirley said that Gay loved dogs which is evident every time we have a pet visitor. Gay’s sweet face lights up, and she wants to put them all in her lap; big or small! We are grateful to have Gay B. with us, and her sweet demeanor resonates with many of her memory care neighbors and staff members.
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