Zay Geneva Hunter Munce was born on February 22, 1918 in Crow Wing County Minnesota. She was a tiny baby, to keep her warm her parents put her in a basket and kept her on the open door of the cookstove. Several years later her sister, Vivian, was born. Dad Ray was an iron ore miner, and on occasion drove his car as a taxi service and ran a pool hall. Mom Ella was a homemaker. The mom and dad fished and the whole family collected berries and raised vegetables.
Zay graduated from high school in Ironton. She was a wonderful piano player and performed at local resorts with a swing band. During World War II the country needed help in Washington, D. C., to support the war effort. Zay took a correspondence course to learn book keeping and shorthand so she could qualify as a government girl. She and her sister were both called to the capital city.
While working in the government Zay met Charles Munce, who had been called to Washington, D. C. from Pennsylvania, he was her supervisor. They married in May of 1944. In April of 1948 their daughter Gloria was born. Charlie’s younger sister, a nurse, and his older brother, a printer, and Zay’s parents lived with them at various times in their little apartment, because D. C. was a place where you could find work. In 1955 the family moved from 21st and O St. to Lyon Park.
Zay and Charlie loved their home and the Lyon Park community. She was a wonderful homemaker, wife and mother. Grandpa Charlie and son-in-law John gardened together and shared the same irreverent sense of humor that the whole family enjoyed. In later years their grandson Charles lived with them for a time, Charles’ children have been able to know their great grandma, which has been a great experience for them. After Grandpa Charlie passed away at age 85, their grandson John moved. With John’s companionship, care and cooking, Zay was able to spend her last years in the home she loved. Visits, love and correspondence from her sister Vivan’s children Patty Kechley and Mike Koons kept Zay in touch with her Minnesota family.
VITAS Hospice provided compassion and support during Zay’s final year. Her nurse Joelle, Mame and Mabel came every week and gave the family guidance on how to keep Zay comfortable.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VITAS Hospice of Northern Virginia, or the Marshall Branch Library of the Fauquier Public Library, 4133 Rectortown Rd, Marshall, VA 20115. Zay spent many happy hours reading books from the Marshall Library, where her daughter is employed.