Jay was born November 29‚ 1967‚ in Hawkinsville‚ Georgia‚ to Cecil J. and Carolyn Shepherd Brown. He graduated from Dodge County High School in 1985 and received a degree in machine tool technology from Heart of Georgia Technical College. He worked for Lithonia Lighting for 24 years. Jay married his best friend‚ Lynn Williams‚ on December 2‚ 2000. He was a loving stepfather to Stephen and Christina McDuffie. On December 24‚ 2006‚ God blessed Jay and Lynn with a beautiful baby girl‚ Carter Madison.
Jay and several friends helped form the Gresston Volunteer Fire Department in 1985. Jay worked his way up from beginner fireman and finally became Chief Jay Brown in 2005. He was always out in the community answering the many calls of his department. Faithful in attending meetings and checking equipment‚ he loved spending time at his fire department and took online classes on all the latest firefighting information.
He was at a fire meeting on the night he found out he was going to be a father. And what a father he was! You never saw Jay without his baby girl by his side. He would pick her up from daycare after work. She loved to help Daddy check the fire trucks and run fire department errands. They were inseparable.
Jay always wore his fire department pager or radio. He didn’t go 10-8 often‚ but when he did‚ he always made sure someone was available to lead the department in his absence. On a Sunday afternoon‚ Gresston experienced a very bad thunderstorm‚ and a call went out for a downed tree. Jay heard several members respond and decided to finish his meal before going out. When a second call was issued‚ Jay and his friend and fellow fireman‚ Leroy Lockett‚ responded to that call. Jay never returned home. He suffered a heart attack at the scene and was taken to heaven to be with his Lord.
Jay loved his family and his community. He was a quiet man who gave freely of his time and his heart. When he spoke‚ you could be sure it was something that needed to be said. Jay was the best cook in the family‚ and his favorite place was at home with his wife and kids. He helped raise the children to become the wonderful kids that they are now. He liked to fish and camp‚ attended Gresston Baptist Church‚ and was a proud member of the FFA alumni.
Jay was survived by his wife‚ daughter‚ stepson‚ stepdaughter‚ mother‚ father‚ brother‚ sister‚ nieces‚ and nephews. A favorite memory is of him crying when his daughter was born. He frequently said‚ Yeah Right. as a way of saying‚ I love you. to his wife. He will always be remembered as a loving husband‚ father‚ friend‚ and fire chief.