Coach Kelly Lynn Lay
Kelly Lynn Lay was born to Bill Jr. and Virginia Sue Lay on October 30, 1968 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. His family lived in Oakhurst during his early childhood, moving to Talala when he was around eight. He loved roaming the countryside with his siblings and friends. He loved FFA and playing basketball throughout high school, graduating from Caney Valley High School in Ramona, Oklahoma, in the spring of 1986.
He began working for his father at an early age, working through junior high and high school. After graduating from high school, he attempted classes at Tulsa Junior College, but many classes were dropped every semester as work picked up and he got too busy to finish most. While attending TJC, he met a good friend, David Dick, who introduced him to what he had really been searching for most of his life, The General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn. After spending time with even more good friends and attending church, he was baptized into the Church on one freezing night in 1987, breaking the ice on the pond to do so. He continued to work for his dad and attend TJC as he could, and play as much basketball as he could. Coaching for public schools and adult leagues, until one day in the early spring of 1990 he met Rachelle Strope. He started his own business in 1990, even selling his beloved Fiero to buy his own equipment, in order to prepare to marry Rachelle. But at that time, his dad was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and he left his own business to return to his dad’s.
After Kelly and Rachelle were married in October of 1991, he once again started his own business, Layscape. In the early years of marriage, Kelly continued his first love for Jesus and he and Rachelle added three very lively boys to their home, all while he continued striving for that college degree, as he continued his love for coaching basketball.
His perseverance in college paid off in 1998, when he finally received his Associate in Business Administration. His love of science was evident, though, as more than one of his science professors noted he was the only business major in their classes.
Over the years, Kelly touched many, many young lives, both inside and outside of the faith. He coached basketball for multiple schools and organizations and he and Rachelle spent many weekends with a home open to young kids.
Kelly and Rachelle added three more kids to their fold as they thoroughly enjoyed life together, actively homeschooling their children and taking part in every aspect of their education from Algebra to basketball, or any other sport of life skill.
For Christmas, 2018 the family enjoyed a week at the beach in the Gulf of Mexico. Kelly walked the beach with his grandchildren everyday, built beach debris rafts and deep sea fished. It was a great family vacation and some of their best memories.
At the end of 2019, Kelly began to feel not quite himself and it was decided not to carry the business into 2020. Many long term clients and suppliers were very sad to see the end of Layscape. He was often described as kind, warm and easy going and an “especially ‘one of a kind’ kind of wonderful person.”
On Sunday, April 26th, 2020, Kelly succumbed to his illness much faster than anyone was ready for, drawing his final breath in his home under the care of his wife and children.
Kelly was preceded in death by both paternal and maternal grandparents, his father, Bill Junior, his older brother, Kenneth Scott and his younger sister, Kyla Jean. His father in law, Vernon Strope and his sister in law, Heather Embrey.
He is survived by his mother Virginia Sue Lay of Oolagah, Oklahoma, Mother in law, Estie Strope of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, brother Phillip Lay of Oolagah, brother Perry Lay and wife Melissa of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, brother Richard Lay of Talala, Oklahoma, sister Linda Carlton of Tulsa, sister Sharon Martin and husband Terry of Claremore, Ok., brother Reuben and wife Rhonda of Owasso, Oklahoma, sister Nancy Thomas and husband Alan of Oolagah, sister Penny Barrett and husband Alex of Yuma, Arizona, sister Deena Schwerdtfeger and husband Eric of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, brother Daniel Lay and wife Yaya Liu of Palm Bay, Florida, brother in law Todd Strope and wife Laura of Longmont, Colorado, brother in law Daniel Embrey of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and more nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces than can be named. His wife Rachelle, of the home, son Alex Lay and wife Caitlin and children Asa, Naoma, Ary and Orev of Skiatook, Oklahoma, son Joshua Lay and wife Emily and children Benjamin and Julia of Bixby, Oklahoma, son Nathaniel and wife Brittney and children Tucker and Cason of Sand Springs, daughter Abigail and sons Clinton and Franklin of the home in Tulsa, Ok.
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