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Jays Obit and Bio

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Obit/Bio Reading

Jerry Jason 'Jay' Barrett

Born: Sept. 8, 1972; in Arlington Heights

Died: Feb. 17, 2008; in Knoxville, Tenn.

He attended Jacobs High School

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - Jerry Jason "Jay" Barrett, 35, of Maryville, Tenn., and formerly of Carpentersville died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, in Knoxville, Tenn. He was born in Arlington Heights on Sept. 8, 1972. He was a former many-year resident of Carpentersville and attended Jacobs High School. He was a tile setter by trade.

He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Patricia (Gary) Strobot of Crystal Lake; his father, Craig Barrett of Tomahawk, Wis.; his sister, Heather and her husband Jeff Nelson and their daughter Kaitlyn, of Marengo; his maternal grandmother, Spiridula Strawcutter of Carpentersville; his uncle, John Strawcutter and his wife Kim; and his uncle John Barrett; his aunt, Cheryl Weege and her husband Randy; as well as several cousins and countless friends both in Illinois and Tennessee.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Jerry Strawcutter, and his paternal grandmother, Jan Thielman.

That was Jay’s obituary. It is just a list of facts, very cold. That is not the Jay I meet at Gary and Patti’s house. That is not the Jay, Gary, Patti, Jay’s Grandma and Jay’s Uncle John told me about.

Gary told me that Jay never complained. He never said a bad thing. Jay was very respectful. A simple, practical person. If you know Gary then you know that is high praise. You know Gary is a practical person. Gary is not into the newest craze. Gary does not have a Blackberry. The cell phone he has is used to make phone calls, that’s it. Nothing else. I bet Gary doesn’t have an Ipod, an Iphone or any other techy gadget that starts with “I”.

Patti told me that Jay was mild-mannered and couldn’t harm anyone. There was not a vindictive bone in his body. Everyone that met Jay loved him. I was told that Jay loved his Grandma. Jay’s Grandma said this about Jay, “He knows I will miss him & he will be in my heart always.  I am sure, he's in a better place, and will be well taken care of. I loved him and will always.  He was such a good hearted young man - wouldn't ever hurt anybody.”

Jay’s Uncle John has a favorite memory of Jay, “I remember Jay, as a kid, on summer days cruise up to my house on his silver sting ray bike for no particular reason but to say "Hi Uncle John” with some smart remark followed by his crooked smile- you know the one-hop on his bike and ride away. I can't understand how something like this could happen, but I do know that Jay will keep smiling in his new life and- I do know that I will always be Uncle John and I will always remember his smile.  Jay, I will miss you and thanks for the smiles.  I will think of you often and I will see you again.”

Grandma and Uncle John, you are right. Jay is in a better place. Todd Agnew has a song titled Martyr’s Song. The song starts with these words.

I've (God) been waiting to dance with you in fields full of colors you've never seen
I've been waiting to show you beauty
You never dreamed that's always been in you
I've been waiting to see you tremble as you're embraced
By a world saturated with my love
I've been waiting for the day when at last I get to say
My child, Jay, you are finally home

Patti’s favorite memory of Jay is when Jay was 6 yrs. old, in the 1st grade and just a little tike. Jay was short for his age. Most of Jay’s friends walked to school. Jay took the bus. Well, Jay didn’t like that. Jay was independent and he decided he would walk home from school. Patti is waiting for the school bus. Well, No Jay. Patti calls the school. She is frantic, as any of us would be if our child was missing. Patti and Craig, Jay’s dad, are driving all over town looking for Jay. Jay is found walking southbound along Rt 31 down by I90. He didn’t have a care in the world. Jay didn’t realize that he was walking the wrong direction.

Jay was in the trades. He was a tile setter. He loved building things. As a kid, he would take his toys apart and put them back together.

This is not Jay (hold up the Obit). This is cold, hard. The Jay you know is here (point to heart). A lifetime of memories stored in your heart. The Jay you know is the thoughtful, practical, respectful man that as a boy loved to jump on his bike and cruise to Uncle John’s house for no reason other than say Hi. The Jay you know is the independent boy with a determination larger than his body walking down Rt 31 unaware that He is going the wrong way.

Grandma, Uncle John, Craig, Patti, Gary and Heather. Remember how much you loved Jay and how much he loved you. Hang on tight to the closeness of that love you felt for each other. Relish that closeness you shared. You will share it again.

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