Gay McCreery, 90, a longtime resident of Scarsdale, died on June 21 surrounded by her family.
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, she attended Penn State University and obtained a master’s degree in early childhood education from Columbia University.
She met her husband Bill McCreery at the Jersey Shore where they were both working one summer, and they married in 1960. The couple raised their four children in Scarsdale. As the children grew, Mrs. McCreery became interested in civic matters in the village. She particularly focused on the Scarsdale Woman’s Club, and served as president of the club in 2001-02 and again in 2008-09.
Mrs. McCreery had an appreciation for the beauty and splendor of the woman’s club’s 150-year-old clubhouse and spearheaded its renovation, first, by air conditioning the club so that it could be rented out during the summer. Subsequently, she worked with a close friend who headed the State Interior Decorators Association to sponsor a “Show House” enlisting 28 nationally renowned interior designers to each decorate and outfit a room or other space in the building. The clubhouse was revitalized and remains a venue for parties and events to this day.
Her Scranton roots created a sense of humility, determination and kindness that anchored her life, according to her family, and she was a gracious and elegant hostess who loved to entertain family and friends. She and Bill, who served as a village trustee from 1985 to 1990 and as mayor in 1991-93, hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners for more than 50 years and regularly hosted cocktail and dinner parties as well. Mrs. McCreery’s hospitality extended to Southampton where she found a summer house and destination for her and Bill to host their kids, grandkids, family and friends.
During the early mornings — always her favorite time of day, said her family — Mrs. McCreery could be found circling the Scarsdale High School track or swimming at the Scarsdale pool. Maintaining her figure and athletic ability throughout her life, she was a “joyful addition” to her exercise classes in Scarsdale and Southampton, according to her family.
“Gay was an incredibly good person — caring, helpful, a good friend. She was a great and beloved wife, mother and grandmother. Gay was beautiful from without and beautiful from within,” they said.
She is survived by her husband Bill; children Bill, Sean (Nancy), Tara (Simon) and Jack (Suzanne); grandchildren John, Eileen, William, Connor, Catherine, Spencer, Georgia, Sean and Patrick.
After a funeral mass at IHM, she was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Scarsdale Woman’s Club at 37 Drake Road.