THE BLAINE CO. JOURNAL NEWS-OPINION Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Mary "Tab" Hay


Mary "Tab" hay, 75, of Miles City passed away on February 18, 2005 at Holy Rosary Health Care following several bouts with cancer over the past years.

She was born June 12, 1929, in Forsyth County, North Carolina, to Luther and Ruth (Robertson) Griffith. She was raised on a farm on Griffith Road, which was part of the original Griffith plantation. She attended elementary school in Clemmons. NC., and attended several years of high school there where she played on the girls basketball team. IN 1946 she married Norman Farrington in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He died a short time later. In 1947 she moved to Harlem, Montana, to live with her aunt and uncle, Ethel and Lester Jessen.

Tab worked in the AAA office in Chinook, Montana, and in the fall of 1947 her aunt and uncle encouraged her to go back to high school in Harlem to finish her schooling. While attending Harlem High School she also coached the girls' basketball team during the 1947-48 season. After graduation she went to work for the Veteran's Administration in Fort Harrison, Montana. On Oct 9, 1948, she and Richard "Dick" Hay were married in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In June 1949 they moved to Hailey, Idaho, until Dick was recalled to active duty with the U.S. Army in August of 1950 after the start of the Korean Conflict. Tab and their son, Rick, moved back to Harlem, Montana, to be near relatives while Dick was on active duty. During this time she worked as secretary at the Harlem High School. When Dick was released from active duty they moved to Rupert, Idaho, in 1952 and lived there until 1954 when they returned to Hailey to make their home.

In October 1959 the family moved to Miles City when Dick took a job with the Miles City Star and they have resided here since that time. In 1972 Dick and Steve Jessen purchased the Forsyth Independent and that same year Tab and Dick formed a partnership with Robert and Norma Torn and started H & T Quality Printing in Miles City. They later purchased the Toms' interest in the business. Tab was in charge of operating the business offices of the firms and helped out in other operations of the businesses.

In 1976 they started a newspaper in Colstrip, Montana, which they operated until 1985 when the sold the Forsyth and Colstrip newspapers. They sold the printing business in April 1991. In the 1980's they purchased some fullblood tarentaise cattle, which they operate in a partnership basis. After selling the businesses Tab went to work at Custer Inn Motel as a desk clerk until she had her second bout with cancer. She also enrolled in classes at Miles Community College and took many computer courses, along with several other classes, which she greatly enjoyed.

She enjoyed playing cards and computer games and working on the computer in compiling the Griffith family history and old photos. She was a member of Royal Neighbors of America and served as district oracle while living in Idaho. She was a member of the Episcopal Church in Hailey, Idaho, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Miles City where she served several years on the altar committee. Tab also served as a Girl Scout leader and helped out with the Boy's Scout when the boys were involved.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Caroline; one sister, Mildred Bernice (Griffith) Sloan, and one brother, Cecil Griffith.

She is survived by her husband of Miles City; two Sons, Rick Hay and his wife Helayne, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Rodney Hay of Omaha, Nebraska; six grandchildren, Jessica Wetmore of The DalIes, Oregon, Keith Wetmore of Denver, Colorado, Jacque Wetmore of Billings, Montana, and Aleksandra, Ashley, and David Hay all of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers. Russell Griffith and his wife, Lois, of Greensboro, North Carolina, Ralph Griffith (who lived with the Hay family in HaiIey, Idaho. while he finished high school) and his wife, Mary Jane, of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina; four sisters, Lavina Tilley and her husband, Paul. Alice Smith and her husband. Reid and Phyllis Foster and her husband, Steve, all of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Ethel Griffith of Portland, Oregon. Shc is also survived by numerous nieccs and nephews and by her two very special 'star borders and honorary grandchildren", Brooke and Brittnee Olson and their mother, Kym Olson.