February 10, 1938 - December 12, 2020
Now Dancing With the White Dog
We are saddened by the passing of Terry. The outpouring of posts, email and cards have been so appreciated. He was truly an iconic author who was encouraging to and a major influence on new writers. He could entertain and captivate an audience from ages 2 - 72 with his wit and charm. He will be truly missed and will live on thru his writing. View his amazing life story thru his Biography and Memorable Moments.
Born in Hart County, Georgia, on February 10, 1938, as the 11th child of the late Toombs Kay, Sr., and Viola Winn Kay, he is survived by his wife, Tommie D. Kay, and children, Terri (Buddy) Kerr; Scott (Ansley) Kay; Jon Thomas Kay; and Heather (Andrew) Flury. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren, as well four siblings – Betty Skelton, Patsy Nix, Dr. John Kay and Gary Kay, plus numerous nieces and nephews.
A graduate of LaGrange College, Kay began his writing career as a journalist at the Decatur-Dekalb News and later as a sports writer and film-theater critic at the Atlanta Journal. His first novel, The Year the Lights Came On, was published in1976, followed by 17 published works of fiction, including his signature novel and internationally acknowledged Southern classic, To Dance with the White Dog.
Three of his novels have been produced as Hallmark Hall of Fame movies –To Dance with the White Dog, The Runaway and The Valley of Light.
He was inducted in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities in 2009.
In 2011, Kay was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgia Writers Association. He received the Georgia Author of the Year award four times and in 2004 was presented with the Townsend Prize. In October, 2006, he received the prestigious Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.
Also in 2007, Kay was presented the Stanley W. Lindberg Award, named for the late editor of The Georgia Review. In 2015, the Atlanta Writers Club named its annual fiction award the Terry Kay Prize for Fiction.