James E. "Jay" Thompson
1942 - 2021
BORN
1942
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home
403 East Main Street
Batavia, NY
James E. "Jay" Thompson

Colton, NY — James E. "Jay" Thompson of Colton, NY passed away early on Thursday, November 25, 2021 at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Jay was born on March 20, 1942 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and grew up in Holyoke, MA. He spent most of his life in Western Massachusetts, primarily South Hadley and Belchertown, an area that he greatly enjoyed.

Jay was an extraordinary man, full of life, love and music -- a gentle, thoughtful, and compassionate spirit. He was deeply loved by his family members and many friends, going all the way back to his high school days. Jay is survived by his wife of 38 years, Tracey L. Thompson; two sons, Drake J. Thompson and Matthew T. Houghton-Thompson; daughters-in-law, Lillian Thompson and Jaimie Houghton-Thompson; grandchildren, Connor Thompson and Kris Thompson; his brother Jeff Thompson; niece, Khiarra Kosling and nephew, Zach Thompson.

Jay was a talented and creative television director/producer and worked for more than three decades at WGGB-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts, directing and producing a variety of special programs including a popular children's show called "Strummin' Drummers." He was a man of many interests and hobbies including model railroading, fishing, camping, photography, cycling, white-water canoeing and kayaking.

But his real love and calling was music; Jay was an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter. He recorded an album of folk music with a group called the Tikis in 1962 and created an album of his own original work titled "Better Late Than Never" in 2005. Jay participated regularly in open mic events at PACE in Easthampton, at Luthier's Co-op, and most recently in a Zoom open mic hosted by Dan Russell of Easthampton.

Jay had what appeared to be a heart attack on Wednesday afternoon, but it turned out to be an aortic dissection, which is difficult to survive. He was airlifted to Syracuse where he underwent nine hours of emergency surgery, but too much damage had been done to his heart and he passed away at 1 a.m. on Thursday.

Jay's life will be honored with a very special open mic. This celebration of life, love and music will be held at Luthier's Co-op, 108 Cottage Street in Easthampton, MA from 12 Noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021. Jay's good friends from PACE, the Luthier's open mic and Dan Russell's Zoom open mic will play their favorite songs in memory of Jay. All are welcome. Jay will be remembered by all who knew him as a good man with an easy smile, a funny joke, and a helping hand. He will always be a beautiful soul.

Arrangements were entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street in Batavia, New York. Please leave a condolence, share a story, or light a candle at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.
Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 30, 2021.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Dec
5
Celebration of Life
12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Luthier's Co-op
108 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA
Funeral services provided by:
H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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7 Entries
Dear Tracey and Jeff and your families, It was just today that I learned of Jay's death and it saddened me as I began to reflect on the people who had crossed my life's path that are no longer with us and those with whom I lost touch__Jay being one of them. Please accept my sincere and heartfelt condolences. Jay, Jim, Gil and Dick__the "Tikis" and the memories from when they and their music became such an important part of my life. Folk music grabbed hold and took us along an interesting journey of life experiences that would leave an imprint on how each of us might move on from that uncertain period of time. I am grateful for that time, for knowing Jay and for time spent with his dad when there was practice at their home and I might have been there with Dick, who I would marry within that time frame. Yesterday I was listening to Joan Baez__this morning I was led to check the November/December obits and found Jay__whose voice I will not forget. Cindy Watson
Cindy Watson
Other
December 27, 2021
Tracey I am so sorry for your loss. Jay was one of my favorite people on the New England Classic rides. A truly good guy.
Mike Santos
Other
December 18, 2021
Jim & Eileen Mendrek & Family
December 15, 2021
So sorry to hear of your loss Tracey. Jay was indeed a great and talented man. He will be missed by many.
Paul Roberts
December 8, 2021
When I became friends with Matt he took me in to his family. He always encouraged me to be myself. Always offered me all the love and understanding I needed. I can say that you helped me become a better person.
John Bachand
Friend
December 5, 2021
To Jeffrey & Jay's family: Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your big brother & loved one. Growing up next door to the Thompsons on Jefferson St. brings back many fond memories of Jay orchestrating summer activities. One summer, Jay had us younger kids believing UFO's & Martians were in our neighborhood. He used tape recorders, radio's & other assorted electronics, as well as combining burned wires, radio tubes & melted plastic into a blob. These, along with his story telling, convinced us that extraterrestrials were present. We had great fun & enjoyed every moment. Rest in peace, my friend. Harry Craven
Harry Craven
November 30, 2021
My condolences to Jay´s family and especially his brother Jeff, my friend. Growing up in Holyoke in the 50´s and 60´s there were so many kids that we literally ran in packs. Jay was the " leader of our pack" and was especially looked up to by us little kids. He spent lots of time with us and entertained us with fascinating and scary stories that he would make up on the spot. It wasn´t unusual to find Jay surrounded by a bunch of us while he beat on a tomtom while he told stories. He´d also bring home "exotic" instruments like the zither to entertain us. Few people in this world had his boundless curiosity and the talents to match. He will be missed.
Jim Armstrong
Friend
November 29, 2021
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