Stephen Jay, Jr.

Obituary of Stephen Henry Jay, Jr.

Stephen Henry Jay, Jr., 83, of Lakeland, Florida, passed away at home surrounded by his wife of almost 63 years, Mary Frances Jay, his daughter, Laura Beth Vernon and his grandson, Zachary William Horton on April 21, 2024, after a long and courageous battle with dementia. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 4, 1940, to the late Stephen Henry Jay, Sr., and Leona Mae (Brannock) Jay. He was preceded in death by his son, Stephen Henry Jay, IV, his older half-brother, Clark, his older sister, Shirley, and his two younger brothers Hollis Jay and David Jay (respectively). He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances (Bass) Jay, whom he married on August 4, 1961, his daughters Laura Beth Vernon (Dennis) and Deborah Lynn Orosco, his grandchildren, Mitchell Stephen Jay (Devin), Kaylyn Langdon, Gabrielle Jay, Zachary Horton, Luke Horton (Leilani), John Sciorra (Alexandria), and Brian Sciorra (Lizz Bruty), his great grandchildren, Stephen, Vera, and Harrison Jay, Everson and Capri Langdon, Emilia Sciorra, Brian Sciorra and Amelia Grace Horton (his “Puppy”). He was known as a hard worker all his life and spent much of his life in the Midwest, where he had multiple businesses and in rural areas of Missouri on the farm, where he was most happy and at home. In his last years, he dreamed of having his farm life again. He loved his family, cattle, horses, cars, and trucks, and felt peace in the hope of seeing his loyal wife on their farm in the New World to come. Special thanks to the friends at the North Lakeland Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses for the love, honor and respect they gave to him. Also, a heartfelt thank you to Compassionate Care Hospice, Nurse Kim, and his “Little Redhead” aide, Tiffany, for their care and comfort of Steve, Mary, and his family. There will be a private family service.

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