November 29, 1946 – July 24, 2019
It is with extreme sadness that we announce the sudden unexpected passing of our husband and stepfather, Jay Simons on July 24th, 2019.
Born in 1946, Jay’s life was a miracle of its own, as he was the first born son of Holocaust survivors David and Isabel Simons. In 1953, at the age of seven, Jay immigrated to Toronto from Israel with his parents. It was there that he made life long friends with whom he was still in touch with to this day.
Jay attended the University of Waterloo, School of Urban and Regional Planning, obtaining an Honours Degree in Environmental Studies. Thus began his love of travelling and a love of the open road. He moved out west to B.C. in the early 70’s and fell in love with the forests and mountains. Though he never returned to Ontario to live he regularly made trips back to visit family and friends, particularly his mother Isabel.
In addition to Jay’s many restless wanderings, he embarked on an ambitious two year round the world trip in 1978, which included South East Asia, hiking in Nepal to the base camp of Mount Everest, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. This he did while the rest of us were taking on mortgages and starting families.
In 2002, he found his heart’s home when he married his sweetheart Joyce Smith and inherited her three beautiful daughters, Heather, Erin and Jane.
Jay is an incredibly patriotic Canadian evidenced by his riding a bicycle more than 7000 km from coast to coast in 2011, along with two five month trips across Canada in 2015 and 2017 with his wife and best friend Joyce and faithful canine companion Bentley. He was a passionate downhill skier and loved anything about the great outdoors.
Jay was known as ‘that guy’ who was forever prepared for any situation and always brought along additional things for other people ‘just in case’.
In addition to his role of stepfather to Joyce’s three daughters and their husbands, he was affectionately known as Papa to his eight grandchildren, whom he adored. Jay will be sadly missed by his brother Martin, nephews Kyle and Evan, cousins Avi and Sara, as well as Rilla, Arthur, Joe and their respective families.
In his final moments, Jay was sheltered and protected by old big leaf Maple trees surrounded by a forest of Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. He will be forever missed and forever in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The War Amps. A graveside funeral service and reception was held on July 30th in Courtnay, B.C., his final resting place.
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