Dr. Charles Jay
Dr. Charles Jay, 74, of Mt. Vernon, passed away at 8:58 a.m. Sunday, June 1,2008, at his home.
He was born on Jan. 10, 1934, in Mt. Vernon, the son of Fred Jay and Juanita (Casey) Jay.
Both of his parents were members of large families and he deeply loved his numerous aunts and
uncles and his many cousins. He is survived by several close friends who have greatly enriched
his life. He was also especially proud of his professional and personal relationship with
Dr. Margaret Burroughs, founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.
For 26 years Charles was a member of the staff of the Illinois State Board of Educution. His early
teaching career included Riverside-Brookfield High School and Mt. Vernon Township High School.
More recently he had enjoyed teaching geography at Rend Lake College and serving as a part-time
employee of Presley Tours, where he was hired by the late Wayman Presley, and his membership in
the World Affairs Forum of Southern Illinois, an organization in which he served as president several
years as well as board member.
Charles loved to travel and had traveled extensively throughout this country and the world. Travel,
extensive reading, and personal relationships with many people of diverse cultural origins had led him
to believe in the unity and singular purpose of all world religions in serving the Eternal Creator.
Dr. Jay was an avid student of American and European history and enjoyed English history, and made
periodic trips to the United Kingdom as a result of that interest. His familial origins-the Jays,
Baguells, Caseys and Picketts-all traced their origins to the British Isles. His American heroes were
Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman,
who he felt were Presidents of Vision. He received Bachelor of Applied Science, Master of Applied
Science, and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he majored in the
fields of French, history and education. He was greatly influenced in this life by the distinguished
American educator George S. Counts and the Rev. Argy L. Houser, whom he met at the Waltonville Unitarian
Universalist Church and introduced him to the liberal Christian beliefs and bringing God's love to all
mankind. As a result, he often told friends he had liberated himself from the narrowness and
shortsightedness imposed by his environment. His most fervent desire was that all Christians apply
the example of Jesus Christ to promote brotherhood and social justice in the world, eliminate bias and
racial prejudice, and make every effort to oppose violence, not only in their own lives, but also in
their country and throughout the world as well.
He is survived by one brother, Robert Jay and wife Patty of St. Louis; aunt, Edna Hall of Mt. Vernon;
uncle, George Jay and wife Harriet of Pana; niece, Stacy Jay Malcom of St. Louis; two nephews, Shawn
Jay and Steve Engelman of St. Louis; two cousins, Pat Levalle and husband Gary of Mt. Vernon and June
Woker of Rockford; and godson, John Bannister and wife Crystal and their daughter Gaoriella Bannister
of Glen Carbon. His devoted canine companion "Mookie Belle" also survives.
His parents preceded him in death.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon.
Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with John Paul Oakley and
Adam Stone officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn.
For those who wish, memorials may be given to the Jefferson County Retired Teachers Association,
the Margaret Burroughs Foundation or to Mt. Vernon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and will be
accepted at the funeral home or may be mailed to Hughey Funeral Home P.O. Box 721, Mt.
Vernon, IL 62864.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call 242-3348
or visit www.hughey,funeralhome1969.com for further information and to send condolences.
Source: Mount Vernon Register News
Date: Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Submitted by: Cindy Ford