He was born Feb. 3, 1932, on Backbone Ridge in Dickenson County, Va. He was the son of Willard and Willie Hay with siblings Theta Artrip, Janice Patton, Mack Hay and Terry Gortney. Kerry is survived by his wife of 66 years, Sula Fields Hay; daughters and sons-in-law Melissa and Chris Kile, Susan and Lyn Jordan, and Rebecca and Robert Pittard; son John Hay; granddaughters Elizabeth Metz (Scott), Anna Will (Tanner), Caroline Pittard, Rachel Robbins (Carter), and grandson Brice Reid; great-grandchildren Kile and Andrew Metz, Norah Will, and Mac Robbins, and “adopted” son, Paul Trianosky.
After graduating from Haysi High School, Kerry went into the Air Force (1949-1953) serving mostly in Japan. He enrolled in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and completed his degree in electrical engineering in 1957. He worked at Poly-Scientific and Electro-Tec (both now part of Moog) in Blacksburg.
After retiring early, Kerry earned his auctioneer’s license and formed Hay Holler Auction Sales. He ran auctions in the Blacksburg area with the help of family and friends. Kerry and Sula created a record label, Hay Holler Records, specializing in bluegrass and old-time music.
Many, many summer weekends were spent at fiddlers’ conventions in Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina camping with family and friends. Kerry was a great host at Hay Holler, the home he and Sula built in the late 70s.
For almost 40 summers, friends and family gathered for a weekend of minestrone soup, sourdough bread, breakfast casseroles, roasted pig, slaw, baked potatoes, baked beans, desserts galore, biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage, and best of all, a lot of picking way up into the early morning hours. He could often be found on the porch flat-footing with his children and grandchildren. During the past several years, he and Sula hosted a monthly porch (or kitchen) jam for the Blacksburg area old-time musicians group.
The family would like to extend a special thank-you to the Good Samaritan Hospice nurses and caregivers who gave extraordinary care to Kerry and the family during this time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Good Samaritan Hospice (1160 Moose Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073) or Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center (480 Cinnabar Rd, Christiansburg, VA 24073).
Please join us to celebrate Kerry’s life on Sunday, Oct. 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hay Holler, Blacksburg. Come and visit with family and friends. Bring your instrument and pick one more for Kerry.