A true dyed-in-the-wool Iowa Hawkeye fan (or is it dyed-in-the-nest?), Jeff Jay is a Cedar Falls native who graduated from Cedar Falls High where he was a member of both the Tigers’ baseball and hockey teams. He continued his hockey career at Bemidji State University in Minnesota where he earned a degree in Business Administration. Another claim to fame at BSU is that he was a founding member of the Sigma Delta Rho fraternity and served two years as its president.
Shortly after graduating he married Connie and started working for a small newspaper in Cloquet, Minnesota. After two years there, Jeff and Connie decided to head for warmer climes. They spent five months driving their Volkswagen Bug around the eastern U.S. and Florida and sleeping in a two-person tent. “That was fun at our ages,” Jeff said, “But I’d never do that now!”
They ultimately returned to Iowa where Jeff was hired by the Waterloo Courier, a regional newspaper publisher. Little did he know it at the time, but that turned into a 35 year career in the newspaper business. He spent his final 15 years there as Assistant Circulation Department Manager.
After leaving the Courier, he worked for FedEx for four years before really retiring and moving to Sun Lakes. Connie and Jeff knew the area from visiting a son who lives in Chandler. They selected Sun Lakes due to the many activities, the bike and hiking paths and, of course, softball. This is Jeff’s second year in our program and he’s proven to be a solid and versatile player who’s adept as either an infielder or outfielder.
During his years in Iowa Jeff coached junior hockey and was a hockey referee for a dozen years officiating in youth, high school, college and the United States Hockey League. In 1981 he was selected to officiate in the World Junior Championships held in Winnipeg.
Both Connie and Jeff participated in the Des Moines Register’s annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa nine times. The ride is literally across Iowa and takes seven days to complete. The ritual includes dipping your front bike tire in both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers! Around 15,000 riders participate in the ride annually.
Jeff still rides for fun, hikes and plays golf. He also enjoys walking his Lab/retriever rescue dog along the area’s many walking paths. As if that’s not enough to keep him occupied, he works part-time at Bear Creek Golf Complex and has a house monitoring business with fellow softball player Bill Whiteley. He also volunteers as a Sun Lakes citrus picker, an usher at Angels Spring Training games and works security at the Waste Management Open.
Connie and Jeff met in college and have now been married 42 years and have a daughter, two sons and a granddaughter. They’ve really embraced the Sun Lakes lifestyle as one can see from all the activities in which they participate. As Jeff says, “Life is good!”