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Dr. Wayne Donald Kay, age 79, died in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Born in Anderson, S.C. on August 30, 1939, he was the son of the late John Wayne Kay and the late Annie Louise Norris Kay, both descendants of pioneer Anderson County families. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2019 in the Old Silver Brook Cemetery, 1405 White Street, Anderson, SC 29624.
Dr. Kay attended Hammond School in Anderson and graduated in 1957 from the Anderson Boys' High School and in 1961 magna cum laude from Presbyterian College, where he was a Founders Scholar and a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity. He then received the M.A. degree with Phi Kappa Phi honors in 1963 and the Ph.D. degree in British Literature in 1967 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
He is survived by his son, David McGinnis Kay, and his daughter-in-law, Gabrielle N. K. Dean, of Decatur, Ga. and by his former wife, Dr. Carol McGinnis Kay, of Columbia. He was predeceased by his devoted parents and by his beloved twin brother, John Ronald Kay, who died on January 10, 2011.
Dr. Kay began his career at The University of Alabama in 1966 where he became a Professor of English and taught for fifteen years before moving to Randolph-Macon Woman's College with his wife, Carol McGinnis Kay, when she became Dean of the College. During this time he served for a time as Richard H. Thornton Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at Lynchburg College. From 1976 to 1983, he was Executive Director of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and Editor of the South Atlantic Review. He was the author of "Short Fiction in 'The Spectator'" published by the University of Alabama Press and editor or co-editor of two other scholarly books published by the University of Alabama Press and the University of Wisconsin Press, in addition to over two dozen articles in journals such as the Philological Quarterly.
Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Professor Kay by the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) and the Southeastern Linguistic Society (SECOL), and he was a former President of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS). After returning to South Carolina in 1987, Dr. Kay became Director of Development Research at the University of South Carolina.
He was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the Lansdowne Club (London).
The last years of his life were made most enjoyable by his part-time work at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, and by sailing the oceans blue. He was a Diamond-Level member of the Cunard World Club and sailed aboard the marvelous QE2 on her Farewell World Voyage in 2008 and the 2012 World Cruise of the Holland America Line ms Amsterdam -- and often on the Queen Mary 2, where he favored the often turbulent and stormy Winter Crossings. One of his favorite quotations was made by Sir Noel Coward, "Why, oh why, do the wrong people travel and the right people stay at home?"
Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, Columbia, is assisting the family. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be given to Presbyterian College, 503 South Broad Street, Clinton, SC 29325; or Midway Presbyterian Church, 3238 Midway Road, Anderson, SC 29621.
Online Condolences: Dunbar Funeral Home