Celebrating the life of Bill Gene Jay
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Bill was born in Bany, Oklahoma January 30, 1931. Together with his parents Ella and Ross Jay and, his sisters Betty and Pat, he moved to Avenal, California, in 1938.
Bill served in the Navy during the Korean conflict. During this time, he met Darleen Johnson, and they married in 1951. After his discharge from the Navy, Avenal was home to Bill and Darleen, where they would raise their family.
Among the constants in Bill’s life was an unwavering love for his family, an awesome sense of humor; the ability to listen with compassion and wisdom; a passion for reading and learning. Bill spent many hours studying the Bible and reading novels featuring the likes of Jack Reacher and Dirk Pitt. He often spent the long winter months designing his spring projects for his garden and home.
Bill was the person to reach out to when life was challenging and the best person to visit and enjoy an afternoon of good conversation over a cup of coffee.
After the death of his wife Darleen in 1991, Bill married Naomi Goosic, and they continued their life in Post Falls, Idaho, on their beloved property.
Bill is predeceased by his wives Darleen and Naomi, sisters Betty Chaffin and Pat Cuthbert, nephews Thomas Chaffin, who died in 1965 and Keven Chaffin.
Bill is survived by his children Shirleen Donnelly, Sandra Jay, and Steve Jay. His nieces Janet Roth and Karel Miller, seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his companion to the end, his Boston Terrier Molly.
In recent years Bill read and re-read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. He recently called Sandra and said, “However, you hear about my death, by phone or if you’re here, just know that I am OK. I can’t wait to see what’s next!” Our family deeply feels the loss of Bill but his message of hope brings comfort during this difficult time.
Our family is grateful for the loving care that Hospice of North Idaho provided at home and at the Hospice House. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Bill Jay to Hospice House of North Idaho, 2290 W Prairie Ave.,
Coeur D Alene, Idaho 83815.
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