Delores Mae Lay, age 88, passed away July 29, 2022, in Susanville, CA, where she lived with her daughter, Valerie Martin. She had formerly lived with her husband, Bob Lay, in Hillsboro, OR, until his death in 2020. The two had been married 59 years.
Born on May 21, 1934, at her childhood home in North Braddock, PA, the tenth child of Charles and Anna (Fiyalko) Gregorovich, Dolores grew up there in a house on Stokes Avenue. She loved to share the memories of her childhood and especially her life growing up as the daughter of immigrants in an ethnic Slovak family. She had a wonderful gift of laughter, and she relished being doted on by her brothers and sisters. She was especially close to her beloved brother, Albert, also known as Abe.
Delores graduated from Scott High School in North Braddock, PA, and in the ‘50s she was employed at Isaly’s in that town. She later worked at the Homestead Steel Mill until she met and married Bob (Robert) Lay in 1960. Lastly, she worked at the Royal Valley School District in Hoyt, KS, as a paraprofessional during the 1980s.
A city girl, Delores met her handsome U.S. Marine, Bob Lay, who happened to be a Kansas farm boy, while vacationing with friends in Miami, FL, in 1959. The two fell in love instantly and were soon married. The couple lived in many places across the United States while Bob was stationed in the Marine Corps. Delores held down the home front, much of the time on her own, during Bob’s military deployments, some of which were overseas. As time passed, they finally settled in Hoyt, KS, until they both retired and found a home in Hillsboro, OR, in 2000.
Delores was a devoted and loving mother and wife who brought with her to this country many of the Slovak traditions, which she loved. She also brought laughter and joy into the lives of her children and to most people who knew her. One of her greatest gifts was her extraordinary memory, and she often would recount some of the stories of her life,” back in the day.” She also kept her “Memories” neatly cataloged in binders and photo albums, most of them carefully describing the date, time, and what was going on in the family’s life back then.
Delores was preceded in death by her brothers and sisters; Albert Gregorovich, Elsie Gregorovich, Wilma Evak, Ann Kocsis, Paul Gregorovich, Helen Gregorovich, Emily Bires, Peg Ford, and Charles Gregorovich, as well as her husband, Bob (Robert) Lay.
She is survived by her five children; Valerie (Ron) Martin, Susanville, CA, Mark Lay, Beaverton, OR, Quentin Lay, Beaverton, OR, Dwight Lay, Beaverton, OR, and Bobbie (Barbara) Lay, Rapid City, SD. Delores is also survived by seven grandchildren and many, many nieces, and nephews.
Delores’s main desire (and achievement) was that her children had lived and had good memories of the days gone by. In this, she definitely was a great success.
We thank you, Mom, for the precious gift of life that you gladly gave to each of your children. We will never forget the good times and sincere love that you poured out on all of us. Your laughter was a joy to us all, and your boundless love for others and your desire to take care of your family has been such a blessing. You will be much missed, but we thank you and will remember you always for your wonderful love.
Graveside interment for both Bob and Delores Lay will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, September 24th, 2022, at Osaga Cemetery, Fulton, KS. Military honors will be provided for Bob by the United States Marine honor guard. Local arrangements are under the direction of the Cheney Witt Chapel. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.