OKEECHOBEE -Jay Allison Bracey, Master Mariner, Blue Water Cruiser, a sailor who navigated by the stars made his final voyage home on Jan. 15, 2013 after a valiant battle with cancer. Jay was born with salt water in his veins Aug. 10, 1926, and had made two ocean voyage by the age of three months with his father, Frank E Bracey, and mother, Idis H Bracey on their way to Eagle Island Lighthouse off the shores of the Penobscot Bay in Maine where his father would be the last keeper of that lighthouse until 1945. Jay was raised on the island the youngest of eight. His lineage traces back in history to his 9th generation grandfather, Miles Standish, the military leader of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony. Jay was a proud American and Navy Veteran of World War II, and was chosen to serve as one of the youngest men in the secret field of Radar aboard the U.S. Navy Flagship, the USS Catoctin which accepted the surrender of the Japanese forces in 1945. After service to his country, he married Frances Louise Sargent (who predeceased Jay by many years) and settled down in Southport, Maine while working for the Navy in the new field of fiberglass. He later moved to southern Florida which became his home for the last 50 years of his life. Jay captained private power and sailing vessels throughout the Caribbean and the Yucatan, and his favorite island was Hispaniola. His heart was happiest sailing, exploring, diving, treasure hunting, learning and absorbing Island cultures and folklore. Jay's renowned clients and friends referred to Jay as the "last gentleman of yachting". He built sail and power vessels for Feadship in Holland and Capetown, South Africa. His friends of the world and all who met Jay knew his caliber of honor was of a rare quality. His presence in this world made a difference, and to this world he will be sorely missed. Jay's beloved sisters and brothers who have gone before him are Steven Bracey, Robert Bracey, Frank Bracey, Glenn Bracey, Hilda Bracey Howard, and Adria Bracey Francis. Jay is survived by his daughter, Cathy L Alfano and her husband Frank of Virginia Beach, Va.; grandchildren, Tracey L Boldyga of Chesapeake, Va., Roger (Skip) E Skarin and wife Jessica of Hampton, Va., Jason (Jay) F. Alfano of Virginia Beach, Va.; great grandsons, Matthew T Gregg of Virginia Beach, Ty C and Seth N Skarin of Buffalo, Mo.; great granddaughter, Nina L Alfano of Virginia Beach; his sister, Shirley Dyer of Newcastle, Maine; along with many nieces and nephews; grand and great grand-nieces and nephews all over the world with many that always kept close contact, and the love of his life for the past 35 years, Susan Puleo of Georgia. The family sends a special thank you to the Big Lake Cancer Center, The Hamrick House Hospice and Jay's faithful friend over 35 years, Kenneth ( K R) Splete of Okeechobee, Florida for their loving care and support. There will be memorial service to celebrate Jay's life to be announced at a later time. Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, Friend, may you eternally steer your heavenly sailboat in fair winds and following seas. Barlovento! All arrangements are entrusted to the loving care of the Buxton Funeral Home and Crematory, 110 NE 5th Street, Okeechobee, Florida. On-line condolences may be made at www.buxtonfuneralhome.com.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in NewsZapFL on Jan. 18, 2013