By: Ann Anderson
It is not often to have lived a life where you really do not have any regrets. Gay Tennis has lived such a life, successful in her career and adventurous in her pursuits. She lives up to her name, Gay, embodying the joy of living.
She was born in Atlanta in 1936, but moved to Orlando when she was six years old. She grew up and graduated from high school there. Orlando was undeveloped in those days. She enjoyed experiencing the Disney growth and the birth of the Magic Kingdom. To this day, she is a lifelong Disney fan with a lifetime pass. She continues to visit, often with one of her sons and his family who live nearby.
After two years of college, she got married at the age of 19 and subsequently had three sons. That marriage ended in an amicable divorce after 19 years. Her boys and their families continue to
be the loves of her life.
In 1975, she married Gene Tennis. They remained happily together for the next 39 years, until his death in 2014. After his retirement in 2000, they traveled to every country in the world except Egypt. They also had a timeshare in Hawaii, which they visited with family and friends during every even year. They loved snorkeling and exploring the islands, even flying over a volcano just as it was preparing to erupt.
Professionally, Gay earned her B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia College and State University. From 1978-1984 she served as research director of the United Presbyterian denomination in New York City. From 1984-2000 she taught at North Georgia College and State University as a professor of business administration. She received recognition along the way, including a Distinguished Professor and Educator of the Year awards. One of her most treasured accolades came when she ran into one of her students years later. He declared, “You know Mrs. Tennis, I can’t believe I enjoyed your torturous course so much.”
Her hobbies still include traveling, singing in the Presbyterian Church choir, and reading…especially mysteries. “if someone doesn’t die in the first chapter, I don’t read on.”
Gay is a vibrant, intelligent, fun new neighbor at Plymouth Harbor.