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Major James Lay


1947 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Major James Lay Obituary
Major James Lay

Major James E. Lay, 68, of Swansea, Ill., born on Nov. 11, 1947, in East St. Louis, Ill., died on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, at his residence, surrounded by his loving family.

Major Lay was a Vietnam War Army veteran. He was a graduate of McKendree University with a degree in law enforcement and a graduate of the FBI Academy. He retired from the St. Clair County Sheriff Department as a major after 42 years of service. He was previously on the Major Case Squad, serving as director, and was a member of the National Honor Guard at Arlington, Va. Jim was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur E. and Marianne, nee Schwartz, Lay; his brother, William Lay; his brother-in-law, Joe Cygan; his mother-in-law, Anna Cygan; and his father-in-law, Frank Cygan.

Surviving are his wife, Diane C., nee Cygan, Lay; his three children, Denise C. (Bernie Jr.) Ysursa of Belleville, Ill., Angie C. (Jason) Holmes of Peoria, Ill., and Timothy J. (Jennifer) Lay of Belleville, Ill.; his eight grandchildren, Jack, Cal, and Pilar Ysursa, Mia, Caroline, and Luke Holmes, and Riley and Avery Lay; his two sisters, Barbara (Dave) Imber of Millstadt, Ill., and Patricia Russell of Belleville, Ill.; his brother, Richard (Barbara) Lay of Millstadt, Ill.; his brother-in-law, Tom (Pat) Cygan of Belleville, Ill.; his two sisters-in-law, Jane Cygan of Smithton, Ill., and Pat Lay of Freeburg, Ill.; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A special thank you to the ALS Association and St. Louis Veterans Association at Jefferson Barracks.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to ALS Association, St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, or the Belleville Police Department. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.kasslyfuneral.com.

Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, at Kassly Mortuary, Fairview Heights, Ill., and from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill.

Funeral: A memorial mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill., with Father Matt Elie officiating. Inurnment with military honors will be held at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. Per Jim's wishes, he will be cremated.

KASSLY MORTUARY, LTD., Fairview Heights, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Dec. 27 to Dec. 28, 2015
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