John Lay (5-17-23) service 5-27-23


John Lay, 94, of Savannah, passed away on Wednesday, May 17. He was born on July 2, 1928, to Charlie and Mary Lay.

He was united in marriage to Jane Maxwell on June 8, 1957, who survives. They have four sons, John Jr. (Nettie), Rev. David (Penny), Philip (Vicki), and Charlie (Misty); eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is survived by his sister Patsy Wills of Savannah.

Dr. Lay was educated in Hardin County Schools, graduating from Central High School in 1946. He was Vice President of his senior class, President of FFA during his senior year, State Star Farmer in 1945, lettered in basketball and football, and played on the basketball team that finished fourth in the state tournament.

He attended University of Tennessee in Knoxville from 1954-1957 as a pre-medical student; University of Tennessee Memphis from 1958-1961 for medical school and graduated with a medical degree in 1961; interned at Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia, from 1961-1962.

Before being drafted in the U.S. Army, Dr. Lay managed a Kroger grocery store in Marks, Mississippi, from 1947 to 1951. He served his basic training in infantry and paratrooper at Fort Breckinridge, Kentucky; Pipeline to Far East Command. While he was a Private, he trained for track vehicle mechanic. He was then promoted to PFC, Corporal, Sgt. then Sgt. in charge of motor pool until transferred back to the states and then was honorably discharged. He returned to work at Kroger in Marks, Mississippi, until resigning to enter UT to study medicine in 1954. He practiced one year in Adamsville, before joining a group of doctors in Greenville, Tennessee, in 1963. After the passing of Dr. Carroll, he accepted an invitation to practice in Savannah. He practiced from October 1964 until his retirement in February 2012.

Dr. Lay was a member of the American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Association, West TN Consolidated Medical Association, American Academy, and organized Hardin County Medical Society in 1985, He was a staff member of Hardin County Medical Center, serving as President of Staff at various times, a member of Hardin County Health Board of Health for many years. He also served as Hardin County’s medical examiner for 30 years, was a county physician, and company physician for many corporations.

He was also one of the organizers and stockholders of Hardin County Bank.

An active member of Savannah First United Methodist Church, serving on most committees at various times, and was treasurer of the Wesley-Williams Sunday school class.

Dr. Lay was also a member of the Lion’s Club for 50 years, Post #28 American Legion for 30 years, Hardin County Chamber of Commerce when he was working, Hardin County UT Alumni, American Cancer Society where he served as President and Crusade Chairman for the Hardin County chapter for eight years, Ducks Unlimited, Walking Horse Owners Association and the Mid-South Walking Horse Association.

He enjoyed breeding, raising and showing Tennessee Walking Horses. He was also an avid Tennessee Vols fan.

Visitation and memorial services will be held at First United Methodist Church, 270 Main St., Savannah, on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27. Visitation on Friday will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Memorial services will also be held on Saturday, May 27, at 2 p.m.