A Tribute to Uncle Jay

Sunrise October 12, 1935    Sunset August 12, 2018

Our family has suffered a great loss, but heaven rejoices. In Chapter 3 in the book of Ecclesiastes you will find these words. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

Flowers are picked every day, but none more deserving than the man God called home. He was a beloved husband, a loving father, a brother, an adored uncle and a friend to all.

This gentle giant loved all of us unconditionally. His hugs were warm and his hellos and goodbyes genuine. He was glad to see us come and he hated to see us go. While Aunt Dorothy and I shared our girl time, he and his nephew talked about everything under the sun including sports, his favorite pastime. I never visited when the television wasn’t on some sports channel. Obsessed, yes.

Stretching decades, his love for our aunt transcended time. They shared thirty-six long years together. He loved her from the moment they met until the day he died. Their love reminded me of a beautiful love story. It wasn’t perfect, but because it was ordained by God, nothing compared in simplicity and beauty. I often marveled at their closeness.

Without question, I admired his ability to teach a lesson about life without making anyone feel foolish about their choices. Life happens. Mistakes happen.

If you were blessed to have known him, you will never forget him. What he said he meant and what he meant he said. He spoke softly. Kindness and gentleness flowed from him as effortless as a stream into a river. He didn’t carry a big stick, but when he spoke we listened. He was smart, and yes, he was spiritually color blind. Not that he didn’t see color, but to him it really didn’t matter. His love for us was as pure and unpretentious as God’s love for his children. He put God first and he was an obedient servant.

With affection, he called his nieces, Laverne, Lenneace, Donna and I, the Connally girls.  Have you heard from those Connally girls he’d ask Aunt Dorothy?  I’m proud to say that her answer was always yes. Today, I’ll look back and remember with a smile that I am one of those Connally girls.

I don’t know what he meant to you, but to his family and friends who really knew him, he was a wonderful and loving human being. I’ll miss him and will always remember this quiet, soft spoken man as our gentle giant.


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