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In Memory

Jay Gordon

Jay Gordon


    We are sorry to report that Jay Gordon died on Friday, May 8, 2020, after a few

    weeks of an attempted recovery from cancer surgery.  His obituary will be posted 

    here when available. Jay's sister, Tammy (BFHS 1963), shared that Jay's Facebook 

    page contains pictures posted there by a  friend from Jay's pickleball exploits.

    Sayonara, good buddy.  We'll miss your passion for debate and zest for life.

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05/11/20 11:57 AM #4    

John Slater

WOW! What a story Gary Murphy! Truely Jay followed his bliss. One of very few. smiley

05/11/20 03:19 PM #5    

Bernie Pokropski (Cymbor)

What a beautiful eulogy, Gary.  Thanks for sharing Jay's wonderful life.  He is an inspiration to us all.  Bernie Pokropski Cymbor

05/11/20 04:38 PM #6    

Karen Rauchfuss (Weber)

Another 5th Avenue Elementary friend has gone.  Jay was always competitive no matter what he did, academic, or physically he gave it his all.  Now his pain is no more. God be praised. Sounds he really lived his life just as he wanted!  

05/11/20 08:26 PM #7    

Russell Greata


I am certainly indebted to Gary whose tribute to Jay highlighted patterns in Jay’s life which I had not thought about before in the way I am now. 

  • Jay as adventurer:       Being without resources, Jay had to figure out how to do what he wanted, when what he wanted [travel a lot to play tennis] prevented him from earning a lot.   He was patient, at first living and traveling in a used US Mail truck.  His goal was not to pile up possessions, but to live life fully in his own way.    Ultimately, Jay traveled a great deal, getting to most of this country, to much of Europe, and even to Africa where Jay climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (going in from Kenya).  This all in addition to visiting Cambodia and traveling around Thailand while serving in the Peace Corps there.  And not to forget that Jay lived in a kibbutz in Israel for a while.
  • Competitive Jay:       Based on sports and card games--before Jay developed his quite remarkable tennis skills—I can attest that Jay always tried his hardest to win, willing to outwork any opponent.  But, when he applied himself to really learning all he could about tennis physical skills and probably more importantly about the game’s mental aspects, including his mindset, that’s when he became a truly superior player.  Finally, playing former world-class champions, and beating them, requires a maturity of confidence and courage that few people ever attain.
  • Generous Jay:       Jay and Gary both were kind enough to be groomsmen for Joanne’s and my 1968 wedding.  Jay gave us a gift that we placed in a glass-enclosed case which hangs in our bedroom even today—two beautiful carvings:  each in dark wood, hand-carved side-of-face view of a young Cambodian woman wearing a fancy crown.  We know that they were of special importance to him from his stay in Thailand, and we still treasure the honor he gave us.
  • Interesting and social Jay:       Jay always had interesting stories to tell, and usually he filled them with funny anecdotes.  No one complained, “Here he goes again,” when he started to speak.  And why wouldn’t he have good stories to tell, given his means of survival and wide travels.  And because Jay was informed about the world and had a knack for talking about it, you never had to worry with Jay around that you alone or you and a group would have to endure sitting quietly with nothing to engage your attention.  And while I can’t recall a single topic that led to such a result, I do recall Jay and I often laughing together so hard that we both had tears running down.


I’m glad to have so many memories of good times.  Thank you, Jay.

05/12/20 08:30 AM #8    

Pauline Young (Morgan)

We have lost another fellow student from our class of 1961. His remembrances from our classmates express what we all remember of him and wish the family to know how much we all will miss Jay! God bless him and rest in peace.🙏💕💐

05/12/20 02:49 PM #9    

Thomas Courtice

I join my classmates in remembering Jay Gordon, with great affection.  As Karen Rauchfuss indicated, our long term friendships with Jay began when we all started at the Fifth Avenue Elementary School together. In one of our pick up football games that included Richie Allen, Jimmy Seaburn, Gary Murphy, Billy Bristol and others, I accidentally but carelessly bumped the back of Jay's helmet (sophisticated equipment) with my knee. I was such a clutz.  The jolt cut the inside of Jay's mouth, so seriously that it ended the game and led us to all accompany Jay down 7th Avenue to his home.  To this day I've thought about how he was so good about overlooking my carelessness, not holding a grudge, and being the bigger forgiving person. Rest in peace, Jay.  And once more, I am sorry.

Tom Courtice 

05/17/20 11:53 AM #10    

Carol Stewart (Mitchell)

I have not been on this site due to when I went on a trip to South Africa on March 11 and called back on March 17 my girls convinced me to return to  Pa and to stay in quarantine there where they could help if I needed help.  I could not wait until I could get a plane and return to the Florida home which I did on  May 10, During this time my coputer was left in Florida.  Thus today when I  went back to check messages I found out about Jay and I am still in shock.  Russell Gretta, Susie Starr Willimason, and myself had been trying to put together a mini reunion on the East Coast and I had contacted Jay about attending.  Jay lived about 1 hour south of me and Susie had visted  him at one time.  We had several conversations and I remember asnwereing a phone call from him after I had sent a text/ I was walking around a Walmart and truly I mostly remember laughing with Jay.  The bottom line he did not want to travel out of his neighborhood and we decided to give up on the reunion.  Jay mentioned about having trouble remembering details but never mentioned any type of sickness.  However that would be Jay/ he kept the conversation to his pickle ball playing, memories of playing cards at the Dawson home, and other high school memories.  He mentioned and sent a picture of himself and Joe Nameth and told me how they kept in contact.  I had looked forward to connecting with him in the future.  I am so sorry to loose another class mate.  

05/19/20 08:28 PM #11    

Richard Allen

what sorrow/--- jay is the 2nd ( Gary Murphy) was the 1st) of the four kids that walked to 5 th ave elementary, jr high and high school together to pass on this year. Jay was a teamate on the Rosenberg auto parts pony league championship team along with Tommy krzmienski and yours truly. He only got to play cause his dad was the coach (just kidding). Jay was also the first kid I ever got into a fight with. I think we both lost.rest in peace my old friend.



05/20/20 03:20 PM #12    

Arthur Davis

Moved to Beaver Falls ( College Hill) in 5th grade so I didn't know a lot of my classmates until Jr High so I don't have any stories to share like some of you, but I did know Jay and he was always a great kid to be around. We will all miss you and pray for your family and I know we will be classmates again one day! R.I.P. friend.


06/05/20 11:28 PM #13    

Janet Belkowski (MacCrindle)

So sorry to hear we've lost another fine classmate, rest in peace Jay.

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