Jay Everett Pierson 1971 - 2021 It is with great sadness that the family of Jay Pierson announces his death in Estevan, Saskatchewan on Friday March 5, 2021 at the age of 49 years. Jay was predeceased by his parents, Jerry and Sallie Pierson. He is survived by his son, Jude; Jude's mom, Amanda; sisters Kelly (Logan Martin) and Darcy; aunts Melody, Jan, Elaine, Laraine and Kelly; numerous cousins; his godfather Ingi Ingalson and godson Jordan Pierson. Jay was born in 1971 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He grew up in the Fort Richmond area before the family moved to Estevan, Saskatchewan when Jay was thirteen years old. After graduating from grade 12, Jay attended Brandon University where he met his group of lifelong friends. Jay returned to Estevan where he began working at The Beef (which is now Days Inn) and then joined the Estevan Police Service in July of 1998. Jay spent the majority of his career as a Forensic Identification Officer but also held the positions of Detective in Major Crimes, Acting Sergeant and 2 IC on platoon, Community and Traffic Services Officer. Jay was the president of the Estevan Police Association and a board member with the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers from 2003 - 2013. In February of 2017 Jay was placed off work due to problems related to his mental and physical health. Jay was diagnosed with PTSD in March of 2017. Jay's recovery and quality of life were further impacted by having to repeatedly fight to defend his diagnosis in order to receive WCB benefits which were essential to support his family. Jay felt that the lack of support, both financially and with regard to his mental health struggles, took an enormous toll on his health and personal relationships. Jay's family would like to thank the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers for their unwavering support during Jay's appeal process which ultimately was ruled in his favor. Jay was a complicated person on the one hand and simple on the other. He struggled with his mental health and tragically it affected his ability to find happiness and peace within himself and affected his relationships with people who cared for and loved him. Jay's family would like to thank those friends, colleagues and mental health professionals who stood by Jay and continued to support him. Jay was always very active in the community with his volunteer work. Prior to his illness, Jay loved spending time with his family, especially Jude. Jay's life was forever changed when he became a father and he loved Jude above all else. His entire being would light up every time he saw his son and it was a joy to witness. Jay also enjoyed travelling, camping and spending time socializing with his friends and colleagues, especially if there was craft beer and a game of poker available. Jay's PTSD diagnosis significantly impacted his ability to take care of his physical health. He also suffered from underlying medical conditions. Both appear to have contributed to his sudden passing due to natural causes. If friends so desire, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Movember in Jay's memory. A private memorial service was held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 19, 2021 in the Chapel of Hall Funeral Services, Estevan, with The Very Reverend Mike Sinclair officiating. PTSD is not an illness of the weak, it is the result of ongoing exposure to horrific events in one's job. The lack of acknowledgement of the validity of this diagnosis only adds to the trauma experience. In Jay's memory it is crucial to acknowledge the toll it takes to be part of the policing and first responder community, which includes members as well as their families. Hall Funeral Services in Estevan is caring for the Pierson family - Deb Heidinger, Funeral Director.
Published in Estevan Mercury from Mar. 24 to Apr. 23, 2021.