Jay “Big J” Finnigan passed away in Charleston, SC on Saturday, April 6th at the age of 61.
Jay is survived by his loving wife, Eileen, of 41 years. They were married in Southern New Jersey on June 3, 1972, and lived on the Jersey Shore, Dallas, Texas, and then Northern Jersey, before settling in Raleigh in 1996. Jay and Eileen loved to surround themselves with family and friends, from entertaining at home to traveling to visit those far away. Jay often said his most valuable things in his life are his marriage and his family. Jay is survived by Eileen and their son, Jay, daughter Katie, daughter-in-law Jennifer, son-in-law Landon Mariani, as well as four grand children, Shannon(13), Reese(10), Drew(7), and Elle(1). He was an extremely proud grandfather – although always felt he was too young to be called “grandpa” and preferred to go by “Big Jay”.
Jay is also survived by his sister Ann, and brothers Tom, Pat, Mike, Ed, and Rob, as well as brothers-in-law Steve, Jack, Kevin, and Kevin, and sisters-in-law Marianne, Kathy, Carol, Janet, Janet, Joyce, Barb, Denise, and Charmaine, not to mention a large number of nieces and nephews that includes three godchildren, Wendy, Summer, and Chase who he was honored and proud of.
Jay was born in South Jersey on New Year’s Day 1952, graduated Edgewood High School, was awarded a scholarship to RCA Technical College, and later earned a Bachelor degree in business administration from the University of Texas. He worked in several fields including computer hardware during computer boom of the 70’s and 80’s, and most recently in the healthcare industry. Jay was instrumental in leading several Fortune 500 companies’ customer service departments, earning numerous awards throughout his distinguished professional career of more than 40 years. He never was one to speak of his own accomplishments, but beamed when telling others how proud he was of his children’s careers. He spoke highly of Jay and Katie’s work in marketing, and Landon’s work with Campbell University’s football team. He loved to experience the football games and team events through Katie and Landon’s eyes, and became a very passionate supporter of the Campbell’s football program.
Jay was an avid golfer, and loved nothing more than to play a round of golf with his two sons, and good friends. He loved to compete in sports and games, and over the past three years found interest in long distance running, sharing the passion with his daughter, who together ran several 5K races where they could spend time and challenge each other to the finish line.
The gentle giant with a big heart will sadly be missed, and forever be remembered as “Big J”.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613 on Thursday, April 11th with Jay’s family greeting mourners beginning at 12:30pm, and memorial service to begin promptly at 1:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in the name of Jay Finnigan Sr to the Campbell University Football Program. Donations can be made on-line at gocamels.com under the “Fighting Camels Club” – “Make A Gift” link, or sent directly to Campbell University Athletics, attention Bob Roller, PO Box 10, Buies Creek, NC 27506.
Condolences and fond memories can be sent to www.MitchellatRMP.com. Mitchell Funeral Home.