Life Story / Obituary
There is no greater man than one who lives by his convictions and cherishes those entrusted to his care, and Jay Boss was such a man. The foundation of his family, Jay worked hard to provide for those he loved, and as their foundation, he led by way of example with high integrity and unconditional love. Jay found in his family no greater joy, and always a very kind, noble and tolerant man; he was ever loyal and enjoyed the simple things in life.
By 1932, the economy continued to deteriorate as a result of the Great Depression. Unemployment increased to over 24 percent with an astounding 13 million out of work. Many struggled to keep their families fed and a roof over their heads. Even so, the entertainment industry grew by leaps and bounds and was a welcome deviation from everyday worries. Yet for Jay Edward and Marian (Simpson) Boss Sr., the year offered hope and promise as they celebrated the birth of their son, Jay Edward Boss Jr. on October 15, 1932.
Born and raised in the bustling city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, young Jay was the first of eventually four children in the Boss household and the only son. His family made their home on Derby Street on the city’s northwest side where Jay came to enjoy the friendships of many. He also experienced his share of shenanigans and typical boyhood adventures. Jay received his early education from Oakleigh Elementary School and went on to graduate from Central High School, having graduated with the Class of 1950. He attended Grand Rapids Junior College before enlisting to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1952 to 1956. He was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia where he worked as an engineman.
Jay’s father was an executive with Michigan Bell Telephone and after returning home to Michigan his father got him a job there which was something Jay was adamantly against. He loved working with his hands and soon left the telephone company and went to work for Northwestern Auto Parts Supply Company. His love of tinkering never waned and he always enjoyed working on cars, tractors and radios throughout his life.
In time Jay married and became the proud father of two fine sons, Mark and Tom. He became quite active in Good News, a divorce recovery group after his first marriage ended. Before long he met Janice Krieger Oosterink at church who became the woman who would forever capture his heart. With his two sons and Janice's two children, Dawn and Eric, the couple soon married in 1983 which was only the beginning of making numerous memories together.
Through the years some of those memories included wonderful holidays and other get-togethers with family and friends. As a couple they were very active at church, Newhall Community Church where Jay taught Sunday school. He and Janice took a 14 day Alaskan cruse and land trip which he just loved and he even came back with a license plate that read, “Chicken, Alaska.” Jay enjoyed his penchant for many different types of cars over the years, but his favorites included his MG and Studebaker.
Jay’s favorite place to be was in his garage or basement tinkering. Along with his love for puttering, he loved going to flea markets and was always on the lookout for some of his favorite collectibles like Garfield the Cat, pedal tractors and old radios. In fact, Jay often said, “If one is good, then ten is better!” When it came to music, Jay liked the classic country tunes of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr. He liked watching the car races like NASCAR and local races at Berlin Raceway. He even went to the Michigan International Speedway a couple of times over the years. Always one with a hearty appetite, Jay’s favorite meal was an all meat burrito with a good cup of black coffee.
In 2014, Jay underwent a triple bypass. He never really fully recovered and sadly came out of it as a different person. Cognitive delays later led to dementia and after requiring more care than Janice was able to offer, Jay was eventually moved to Railside Assisted Living Center. Just a few weeks ago he suffered a stroke and along with his other health conditions, Jay was unable to recover.
Often described as a goofy, light hearted man, Jay was a pretty laid back kind of fellow who was slow to anger. He was honest and kind and his loyalty knew no bounds. Jay leaves behind a lifetime of memories. Deeply missed, he will be lovingly remembered by those who knew and loved him best.
Jay Edward Boss Jr., age 87, of Wyoming, went to be with his Lord on July 5, 2020. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Hunter Boss; and sister, Joyce Bowers. Jay is survived by his wife of 37 years, Janice; children, Mark (Betsy) Boss, Tom (Marlene) Boss, Dawn (Bill) Rodenburg; and Eric (Dawn) Krieger; 13 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sisters, Maryann (Ken) Reyers and Shirley (Gary) Voogt; and several nieces and nephews. Jay proudly served in the United States Coast Guard during the Korean conflict. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at Graceland Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Camp Roger – Hunter E. Boss Endowment. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Jay’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo, and to sign his online guest book.