Robert Quay, a World War II veteran and an engineer who held patents, died on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007, at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Albany. He was 83.
Born in the town of Knox on May 24, 1923, he was the son of the late Daniel Webster Quay and Bertha Bradt Quay. He graduated from Berne-Knox Central School, valedictorian of the class of 1941. He earned a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy in June, 1952 and a master of science degree from Union College in Schenectady in June, 1963.
Mr. Quay was an Aviation Radioman First Class of the United States Navy – Bombing Squadron Thirteen, commissioned in November of 1943. He trained at N.A.S. Wildwood, N.J. until January, 1944 then transferred to N.A.A.S. Oceana, Va. His group was officially attached to U.S.S. Franklin in February of 1944 and sailed from Norfolk in March of that year. After an intensive training period in the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, the ship returned to Norfolk, Va., in April of 1944.
On May 5, 1944, the ship left Norfolk for San Diego, Calif. and left there June 1, 1944 for Pearl Harbor. They continued to train in Purcene, Maui. The ship made a short stay at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands and then departed for its first combat mission in June of 1944.
Enlisting in the Navy in June, 1942, Mr. Quay was in active duty from October of 1942 to January of 1946 and was discharged with the following awards: Good Conduct Medal; American Theatre; Asiatic-Pacific, three stars; Philippine Liberation, one star; Air Medal; and Victory Medal.
After graduating from RPI in 1952, he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Dam project in Ephrata, Wash. In 1954, he started work at Schenectady General Electric, large Steam Turbine Division. He transferred to EML Division at Malta, N.Y. and retired as manager in 1986 with 33 years of service.
He received two patents while employed at GE. He was a licensed professional engineer in New York.
The then purchased a farm/ranch in San Jon. N.M. in 1991. After much restoration, he and his wife, Ruth, moved there in 1994 from Campbell Ave. in Schenectady.
In May of 2000, they returned to their present home at Weaver Road in Altamont.
Mr. Quay was a former member of Trinity Reformed Church in Rotterdam, serving as elder, deacon, and Sunday school superintendent.
He was interested and active in several veterans’ organizations. A dedicated and life member of the American Legion for 42 years, joining Post 1091. He held many offices in the post, county, district and became 1st Vice Commander of New York in 1989.
He was a life member of Veterans of Overseas Service of America. He presently was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Clovis, N.M.
He was a brother of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 2157 of Rotterdam, a district commander and Historian of Post 77 in Logan, N.M.
He was a current member of GE. Elfun Society; GE. Hall of History; Mensa of New York; National Rifleman’s Association, Whittington Center, Roswell, N.M.; Schenectady Voiture #759 40/8; Sanford World War II Vets; Tau Beta Pi-Electrical Engineering Society; and B-K-W Alumni Association.
Mr. Quay is survived by his wife of 49 years, Ruth Tubbs Quay; two sons, Jeffrey Quay of Texas, John Quay of Schenectady and companion, Denise Gentile; two grandsons, John Robert Quay of Schenectady and Michael Robert Quay of Texas, the son of Susan Quay who died in February of 2002.
He is also survived by one granddaughter, Renee Gentile, of Idaho; three brothers, Thaddeus Quay of Galway, N.Y., Donald Quay of Connecticut, and Richard Quay of Tennessee; two sisters, Helen Coulter and Rosemary Tubbs of Altamont; and one half sister, Bessie Dunleavy of Scotia.
In addition to his daughter, Susan, his brother James died before him in 1971.
A funeral service will be held Saturday at noon at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Calling hours are prior to the service from 10 am. to noon. Burial will be in Knox Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Free Library, Post Office Box 662, Altamont, NY 12009