George A. Kay Iii, Steel Company Founder

November 25, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

George Alexander Kay III, a founder and partner in an Anne Arundel County steel distributorship, died Nov. 14 of lung cancer at his Severna Park home. He was 75.

Mr. Kay was born in Baltimore and raised on Ferndale Avenue. He was a 1953 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree in business and industrial management from the Johns Hopkins University in 1957.

After serving as a lieutenant with the Army Corps of Engineers from 1957 to 1959, he began a 30-year career with Armco Steel Inc. of Middletown, Ohio, in the company's industrial engineering department in Baltimore.

He later completed a sales training program and rose to director of marketing services.

At the time of his 1991 retirement, he was vice president of commercial affairs and communications for Armco's Eastern Steel Division.

During his tenure with the company, he lived in Middletown, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, and Chicago before returning to Severna Park in 1991.

That year, Mr. Kay founded Bay State Steel, a steel distributorship, and four years later a son-in-law joined him as a partner.

Mr. Kay was an active member of SCORE - Service Corps of Retired Executives - that advises owners of fledgling businesses.

Mr. Kay was a Civil War and World War II buff, and enjoyed listening to big-band music and traveling. He also was a bird watcher and liked working around his home.

He was a member of Severna Park United Methodist Church, where a memorial service was held Friday..

Surviving are his wife of 52 years, the former Joan Gaddy; five daughters, Julia Kay McGrath of Newport, R.I., Jennifer Kay Grifo and Christine Kay Williams, both of Severna Park, and Kathryn Kay and Susan Kay Lose, both of Washington; his mother, Dowing Jett Kay of Baltimore; a sister, Anne Kay Joyner of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and seven grandchildren.

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