December 5, 1973 ~ September 10, 2021

Born in: Commerce , Texas
Resided in: Bryan, Texas

Jay Harper was born December 5, 1973, in Commerce, Texas. After a family relocation to San Antonio, he attended St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, where he earned the title ‘class disruptor.’ But when asked a random question by an interviewer for Trinity University’s program for gifted and talented children, Jay’s answer gained him instant acceptance. After graduating from St. Gregory’s, Jay entered Madisonville High School, where he was active in sports, especially basketball, which he called his favorite sport “by far.” He loved animals and was an excellent roper. Later in life, his passions included chess, golf, and gun collecting.

He studied business management and marketing at Blinn College before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. Airman 1st Class Harper trained as an electro-environmental journeyman and was assigned to the KC 135 Air Refueler flightline.

Jay began his 19-year career in the car business in 1996 and over the years worked for several dealerships, progressing quickly from sales to management. During his tenure as General Manager at Lithia Motors, awards received included the Circle of Champions “Top Customer Service Index,” “Most Improved Store” (out of 88 nationwide), and “Top Performing General Manager.” He appeared in local Lithia commercials and established a partnership with Texas A&M University, hosting corporate tailgate parties.

Jay left the auto industry in 2015 to pursue a career in commercial construction. For several years, he was site superintendent for big box store remodels. Later, as an independent contractor, he performed commercial and residential remodeling and storm repair. His ability to identify with others and pinpoint client needs earned him much repeat business.

Jay was known always for his forgiving spirit and his strong faith.

Jay is survived by his children, Morghen and Tucker Harper, who were his life; his mother Lorna Wilson; father Billy Harper (wife Terry); uncle Tommy Harper; stepmother Sally Harper; sister Heather Harper Ellett (husband Bryan and nephew Emerson); sister Wallis Wilson (niece Hannah); and many loving cousins.

He was preceded in death by his beloved great-grandmother Lillian Symms, beloved stepfather Ronald Tucker Wilson, uncle Jimmy Harper, paternal grandparents Hugo Harper and Joyce (Isom) Harper, and maternal grandparents Albert Thorn and Hannah Thorn.

Jay was extremely close to his great-grandmother Lillian, and the family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Peach Creek Cemetery, where she is buried.

Given the rapid rise of Covid-19 cases in the area, social distancing and/or mask wearing will be required at the service. Masks will be provided.

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  1. My sincere sympathy to Ms. Lorna, Wallis, and Hannah over the loss of your beloved Jay. I wish I could take some of the hurt away. Cherish your memories with him and take one day at a time. My family and I will be praying for you.
    “Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

    • Thank you so much, Charmaine, for your concern and prayers. I know you and Jay would have gotten on well together if you had met. God bless you.

  2. Very sorry to hear about Jay’s passing. He was always the class clown, and boy did he make us laugh. It makes me smile to think about all the memories from high school and how Jay entertained us with his wit and dry sense of humor.

    My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

  3. My most sincere condolences to Jay’s family. I’m sure he is in a better place now, but I know that doesn’t make the loss of his physical presence any easier. May God comfort you in your time of loss.

  4. Jay waa close friend. In high school he spent a night and stayed on our couch many nights we hung out together all the time I did not know he had lost his life I’m so sorry to hear this

  5. Billy, Terry & Tommy, we were very sad to hear of Jay’s sudden passing. We’ll miss seeing and spending time with him as part of the “group”. He was an interesting guy and always had something to add to any conversation. All our best during this difficult time.

    Brad, Misty, Alexis & Cullen

  6. Billy & Terry,
    Gordon and I want you to know you are both in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you. Jay will be greatly missed by so many.

  7. Can’t believe this. Was just thinking about Jay the other day and telling stories to my team about when we worked together. Praying for peace and healing for the family during this difficult time! RIP Jay!!!!

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