Let the memory of Jay be with us forever
  • 83 years old
  • Born on May 24, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on April 28, 2011 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States.

This site was set up to share our memories and feelings about a truly remarkable person – Jay Q. Berkson.  I loved talking with my Uncle Jay about his life, not only because he always made me laugh, but because I was so often amazed about the twists and turns his life took.  As I listened to him tell stories about the adventures he had in different periods of his life, the word that came to mind to describe his life was “colorful.”  Uncle Jay was one of the most interesting, thoughtful, sharp, and playful people I knew.  He partook fully of the joys of life.  He also faced serious challenges in his life, and he had his share of pain, physical and otherwise.  But it seems to me that Uncle Jay had two secret weapons against the vicissitudes of life.  First, through it all, he always remembered to savor the good things, the things that make us blessed.  The joy of a good meal and a fine glass of wine.  The happiness he felt being with his family, his children and grandchildren, his brothers and their families.  The joy of sharing laughter.  Even as he neared the end of his life, he kept his sense of humor (As Jay and JoAnn were preparing to go to the hospice, JoAnn asked Jay how he felt about the experience.  Jay replied, “I don’t know, I’ve never died before.”).  And above all, there was his most powerful weapon against sorrow and pain, his wife JoAnn.  The term that comes to mind when thinking of Jay and JoAnn is “soul mates” in its truest sense.  I have a feeling that Uncle Jay might have had fun with my choice of that term (he sometimes teased me when I used overly romantic language).  But it is rare to find a marriage so perfect in this world.  Theirs is truly a Great Love Story.  They faced obstacles from the start, and their ability to overcome them all through the decades is an inspiration (as they told Laura and me – “They said the Jew and the Goy wouldn’t make it!  And look at us now.”).  Jay and JoAnn showed us marriage is at its best -  two people who are unconditionally there for each other and with each other, with grace, love and good humor, through the ups, downs, and unexpected turns of their lives.   The love Jay received throughout his life made him a very lucky man.


About The Site

  Please visit the photo gallery and feel free to add a picture of Jay, and go to the stories section to read and share your memories of him.  An array of photos can never come close to fully expressing a person's life.  But they give glimpses of what brought meaning and joy to someone.  Through these pictures, we see all of the things that Jay was – son, brother, soldier, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather (!).  Some of the reflections posted on the site will show who he was as a friend and in his professional life.   These contributions to the site will allow us to spend time with Uncle Jay, thinking about these moments in his rich, full life, and getting a deeper appreciation for what a remarkable - and just flat out lovable - person he was.  

With love,

Mark Berkson


Posted by Linda Berkson on April 28, 2014
We are thinking of Uncle Jay today with so many fond memories of times spent together! He was such a wonderful person and added so much to our lives! He is greatly missed today and always! Thinking of all the family today too. We will call later but hope everyone is doing well.
All our love, Linda and Stuart

Leave a Tribute