Jay was drafted to serve his beloved United States in WWII. As an Army Private, he was placed in the 42nd Rainbow Division, landing in the second wave of invasion on the Beaches of Normandy, France. As a Sergeant, he was commandeered to travel with a detail for a higher-ranking officer behind enemy lines. Over the years, he recounted numerous stories to those who asked, one of which was his greatest achievement, liberating the prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.
As a man who loved God, Jay’s faith matched his humility. His love for his family was evident to everyone, and he unofficially adopted many! He always felt called to serve others. Though he worked long hours and retired as a diesel mechanic, he always found time to serve his church in whatever capacity was needed. Trying to keep an old school bus running with heat on a Sunday morning was a challenge as he picked up families for church. He served on the District Board of the Wesleyan Church and was Sunday School Superintendent for many years. As a member of Gideons International, Jay distributed Bibles to college students, the incarcerated, hospitals, and schools. During his 4 years in Wheaton, IL, many came to visit for the blessing of having him pray over them.
If you knew Jay, you loved him. He is adored by 7 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren, as well as his extended family and all those he and Sue adopted.
The family will receive friends at W.R. Strickland & Sons Funeral Home in Clermont, GA, on Thursday, September 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the funeral will be Friday, September 30, at 1 pm in the Strickland Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Ken Anderson and Reverend Tem Frierson will officiate the service. As an honored WWII veteran, Jay will be escorted to the funeral home for his life celebration with family and friends. We would appreciate your prayers as we remember his life and impact.