REA, Jay Weston (Age 84) October 13, 1935 - April 18, 2020 Long time Cheney resident Jay W. Rea passed away at his home Saturday, April 18th in Spokane. Jay, the oldest of three children, was born in Litchfield, Illinois to his parents, John W. and Virginia Rea on October 13, 1935. He was mostly raised in Litchfield, where his father managed a local floral business after serving in the Marine Corps in WWII. In 1951 his father traveled to the West Coast for employment and settled on Vashon Island, Washington. Jay brought his Mother and two sisters Judith Strong of Marysville, Washington, and Hannah Osborne of Lake Arrowhead, California, to the West coast in the family station wagon. Jay graduated with honors from Stanford University on a full academic scholarship in 1957. He also earned a Masters of Divinity Degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of Oregon. Jay and his first wife Barbara Beckman had two sons Joe and Paul Rea. In the fall of 1970 Jay moved to Cheney, where he began his 28 years of service at Eastern Washington University, completing his career as University Archivist. In Spring of 1972 he married Marilyn M. Goodwin and was joined by her two children Jeff and Vicky. Jay met Marilyn at the local bowling alley in Cheney and that common interest brought them together. He enjoyed camping, fishing, exploring and spending time outdoors. He was quite a gardener and kept a tidy yard. He and Marilyn owned property on the Lochsa river in Idaho where they relaxed and enjoyed nature. Part of his induction into her family included joining the annual "family fishing trips" in Northern Idaho where many fond memories were created. He enjoyed spending time with his children and teaching them to fly fish. Jay was meticulous, thoughtful, generous, thrifty and organized. There was little that went on in this world that he wasn't willing to offer an opinion about or that he was willing to do research on. He was fascinated with history and hence his career in maintaining records of it. He enjoyed visiting sites of impactful historical events. Jay enjoyed sports and was a particularly avid baseball fan. He became very fond of golfing after retirement and involved himself with the task of official record keeper of his golf leagues (of course). He was a fan and supporter of Eastern Washington Athletics and was proud of their achievements. He was a generous contributor to both Stanford and Eastern Washington Universities. Jay is preceded in death by his daughter Vicky, his son Joe and his wife Marilyn. Jay is survived by his sisters Judith and Hannah, his son Jeff and his wife Gloria and their sons Kyle and Casey, his son Paul and his wife Tracy and their son Austin. A memorial service will be planned at a later date.
Published in Spokesman-Review on Apr. 26, 2020.