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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather on Friday, March 8, 2019.
Jay survived an aortic aneurysm in 2008 and was fortunate to have eleven more years of life. He later dealt with COPD and AFib and his wishes were granted when he passed quickly at home while spending time with his beloved wife and partner of almost 51 years.
Jay was born March 2, 1946 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Frank and Erma Bailey Upright. He grew up in Salt Lake City and American Fork. He and his brother Frank (Shane) had a wonderful childhood and shared many adventures together. Jay graduated from Granger in 1964 and little did he know that the girl he teased in high school would eventually become his wife and soul-mate years later as they reconnected while attending the University of Utah. He married Susan on March 17, 1969 in Salt Lake City.
Jay was an honorable man and loved his country. He joined the 96th U.S. Army Reserve Command at Fort Douglas, Utah, in 1966 and served for 19 years. Sergeant Upright always had stories of time spent with his Army friends. He was a man of many talents and the utmost integrity; Jay lived up to his last name and instilled those beliefs onto his children. Jay taught us to respect everyone, be organized, and be true to your word. He developed precise penmanship while drafting up surveys and working in the field with his father surveying power corridors for his father's company, Upright Engineering. He was fortunate to work again with his father at the Salt Lake City International Airport performing electrical work including the changing of runway lights. With his electrical skills, he transitioned to working for Major Corporation in Salt Lake City as a Shop Foreman. He eventually made his way as a Sales rep for Techlite acquiring government contracts.
In the 1980’s Jay ventured out and started his own business, Jemco Industries. There, he was awarded multiple contracts from the Department of Defense, Morton Thiokol, and other various government agencies. He was honored to have Jemco Industries be selected to construct the electronic dispersion cables (lightning rods) for the space shuttle program and spent many hours assembling the various components to his precise standards. His kids spent many summers at Jemco learning what hard work is by cleaning toilets, windows, dusting and sweeping floors. Jay taught his daughter how to type and file while the boys learned how to solder electrical components. Everyone drank root beer while enjoying their time together.
Jay was a passionate griller and self-taught chef. As the kids' friends would come by in the summer they all would remark about the tantalizing smells emanating from the backyard. Jay spent countless hours on the back patio cooking various meats, sipping cocktails (pinkies), and laughing boisterously while talking to his brother or friends on the phone. He took pride in keeping his family well fed. He always said that he missed his true calling by not attending chef school, but we are grateful he kept his passion in-house for all of us to enjoy.
Jay closed up Jemco Industries due to government budget cuts. He found employment at Sears Roebuck Co., a company that he admired. He took great pride in working there and made many friends at both the downtown Salt Lake and Murray locations. He enjoyed sharing stories with family about his co-workers and appreciated the camaraderie he found while working there. After his first retirement he explored other avenues but never had the same job satisfaction that he had at Sears and ultimately decided to go back there part-time.
Upon final retirement he found joy in day to day activities like going shopping for groceries, watching movies with his love, and baking sweet treats. His eyes would light up when family came over to visit especially upon seeing the grandkids. Jay loved his family and although he showed it in his own unique way, we all know that beneath the gruff exterior there was a kind hearted man.
He is survived by his wife Susan, his daughter Brenda, son Jeff (Tenille), son Brian (Crystal), his grandchildren Cora and Archer, brother Frank ‘Shane’ (Dusty) and nieces Shelly and Torie.
Per his wishes, there will be no formal service; instead as a family we will privately celebrate his life, sense of humor, and his integrity. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to the American Heart Association in his honor.