Our gentle giant passed into the hands of his heavenly Father on June 1, 2019, at the age of 48. At his request, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, Scottsbluff, at 1:00 PM, Thursday, June 6, 2019, Dr. Charles Richardson officiating. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of any flowers, memorials have been established to the Festival of Hope and Regional West Hospice Services. Melissa invites Jay’s friends to wear Colorado Rockies colors and casual dress. Online condolences may be made by viewing Jay’s memorial page at www.bridgmanfuneralhome.com. Bridgman Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Scottsbluff are entrusted with arrangements.
Jay was born March 24, 1971, in Schwabach, Germany. After 11 months in an orphanage, he woke up one day in a strange home where English was spoken. He was a keeper. He became an American citizen in 1976.
Jay had an infectious smile and a huge heart. He loved people and made friends wherever he went and whatever he did. He worked over 20 years for Tom Donahue as a route driver and came in contact with lots of people every day. He made it a point to be friendly to everyone. He loved to collect and refurbish old bikes and went fishing at every opportunity. He enjoyed all children but especially Melissa’s nieces and nephews. His joyful attitude gained him friendships everywhere and enabled him to deal with his unrelenting cancer in a humble and positive way.
Jay is survived by his loving wife Melissa, his mother-in-law Joyce Griess, sister-in-law Mary (Paul) Sanford, brother-in-law Sam Griess, parents Carol and Tom Holyoke, brother Tom (Melanie) of Fresno, California, uncle Carl (Jo) Schreiner, aunt Sharon Holyoke, cousin Ann (George) Lambert, Colorado honorary mother Carol Rossi, long-time best friend and mentor Tom Donahue, and other family and friends he loved on both sides.
He was preceded in death by far too many loved ones including father- in- law Randy Griess, sister Robyn Leigh, younger brother Tyler John, and both sets of grandparents.