Nay remembered as Oldham County icon

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By Alix Mattingly


Wallace “Wally” Nay was an avid gardener, lover of ice cream, driving enthusiast and all-around good guy according to his friends. Known as “Sugar” to his wife, Nay was a father, husband and Oldham County icon.

Nay passed away on Feb. 7 at the age of 79, surrounded by family at his home in La Grange. He was laid to rest in the Valley of Rest Cemetery.

Nay was probably best known for his civic service to Oldham County and the city of La Grange, according to longtime friend Jean Knight.

Along with his many accolades, Wally was Oldham County Sheriff, president of La Grange Kiwanis Club, served on La Grange City council and La Grange Cemetery board and was a Kentucky Colonel.

Knight remembers Wally as her late husband’s best friend.

“We were together every single weekend,” Knight said. “We used to say ‘when we get old we can buy one house and y’all can live upstairs and we can live downstairs.’ ”

Knight recalled Sunday drives with her and the Nay family, where picnics and long afternoons were spent enjoying the countryside.

“He’s just one of the nicest men you’d ever want to meet,” Knight said.

It’s that spirit of kindness Ann Brown, former county clerk and court administrator, remembers about Nay.

“I remember many years ago, Wally used to have a tractor and a snow plow and when La Grange would get snow Wally would go around to all of our driveways, it didn’t matter who you were, and he would scrape all of the driveways,” Brown said. “He’s an example of a local boy that was respected and represented his county well.”

According to Brown, Nay and his brother Carlton “Jiggs” Nay would take turns being sheriff.

“He really had the county and the city of La Grange in his heart,” she said. “He’s going to be missed.”

Long-time friend Glenn Yost fondly remembers Nay’s love of driving.

“Wally loved to get you in his vehicle and he would drive, he just loved to drive. Especially instances like Christmas, when everyone had their lights up,” Yost said. “He would just take us all around. He loved to show Oldham County.

“He was the kind of person that you could talk to and he could always give you a tip or help,” Yost said. “He just knew how to do it.”

Wally enjoyed 61 years of marriage to his wife Betty and was blessed with two children, Eddie and Susie, Yost said.

Current sheriff Steve Sparrow was elected to office after Wally retired and remembers him as a fixture in Oldham County.

“I always respected Wally for the position he held,” said Sparrow. “Wally’s like an icon in Oldham County. When I took this office over for him I knew I had some big shoes to fill.”

Email us about this story at amattingly@oldhamera.com.