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On December 7th of 2023, Jay Masterson put his hand into God's, entering heaven and the special place prepared for him. Jay's faith ran deep and he didn't fear death. After a 2 1/2-year struggle with ALS, God and Jay knew the timing was right for him to go, but for those who loved him, his passing was way too soon. He lived a big life and his passing leaves a huge hole in their lives and hearts.
Jay was a devoted family man, Tanya's cherished husband and a loving father, grandfather and--in the last months of his life--great grandfather. He was a treasured son, adored by his parents, siblings and extended family. His life-long friends became family, too, rallying to his support as he bravely battled a devastating diagnosis. All who knew him stand together with Tanya as she grieves the loss of the love of her life.
Jay truly enjoyed people. Any circle he joined was soon captivated by his charm, humor and genuine interest in their lives. His smile lit up any room.
He was born in Seattle on June 9, 1959, spent his early years in Ontario, OR and the rest of his growing-up years in Boise, ID. With his parents and siblings, he saw much of the United States on many memorable vacations in their Volkswagen bus. He loved family gatherings and held the title of "favorite" among his relatives.
Jay graduated from Borah High School in 1977 and the friendships he made there deeply enriched his life. He began his college years at the University of Idaho then Boise State where he earned a degree in electronics.
He met his precious Tanya in Boise. Theirs is a love story for the ages. They married on June 27th, 1992 in the picturesque chapel along the Boise River near the BSU campus. They had 31 wonderful years together enjoying the pine forests of Idaho, the sandy beaches of St. Croix and so many places in-between. They had many travel dreams on their bucket list as they started their retirement years. How heartbreaking that they weren't able to check all of them off.
They made their first home in Boise and later found a Cinderella-fit for their lives in the mountain community of McCall, ID. They purchased May Security, working together each day to create a thriving business in the community they loved. Jay was civic minded, a member of McCall's Chamber of Commerce and local Rotary. He was named Rotarian of the year in 2022 and the Jay Masterson Trail was dedicated to him that same year.
Tanya and Jay loved the outdoors, camping often in their favorite Idaho get-aways. Jay was an avid athlete who loved all winter and summer sports. He ran many marathons including the Boston. An incredible skier, he often got several runs in on a Sunday morning before services at Our Savior Lutheran Church in McCall where he was an active member and elder.
One of his most treasured roles was being "Pa" to his adored granddaughter, Sierra. He and Tanya loved taking her on vacations with them and Jay enjoyed getting to ski with her. How wonderful that he was able to see her become a mother to her son Kelly.
When Jay was diagnosed with ALS, all were shocked, for if ever there was a person who was health conscious and physically fit, it was Jay. He amazed everyone with his bravery and advocacy for all who struggle with this disease. He joined several ALS support groups, becoming an integral member who encouraged others to have hope. He willingly participated in medication trials and inspired not only his family and friends but also his team of doctors, and caregivers.
He was so brave through it all, never showing anger or saying, "why me?" His smile and sense of humor never wavered. Jay spoke eloquently and emotionally at the annual Walk to Defeat ALS fundraiser in October of 2023, giving thanks to all of the family members, friends and service providers who traveled this hard road with him. He cut the ribbon and finished the course in his wheelchair with his friends and family by his side.
Jay will be greatly missed and is survived by his wife, Tanya; his son, Jason Knudsen; daughter, Tara Knudsen; daughter-in-law, Mindy Knudsen; granddaughter, Sierra (Tristan); great grandson, Kelly; parents, Jack and Diane Masterson; brothers, Bret (Francesca) and Steve Masterson; brother-in-law, Rocky Sinclair; sister, Dana Morfin, an adoring extended family and life-long friends.
Jay is a true hero and an inspiration to many. To honor his memory, smile more, and live a life with a greater awareness of the needs of others and a hurting world. Be kinder, braver and more faithful and loving. In lieu of flowers, it was Jay's wish that donations be made to the ALS Association (Click Here to Donate to ALS in Jay's Name) to promote research for a cure to this cruel disease.
Memorial Services for Jay will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 2981 E. Boise Ave. in Boise, Idaho. Jay will be inurned privately at the Morris Hill Cemetery at a later date. Services are in the care of the Potter Funeral Chapel of Emmett.
The ALS Association
1275 K Street NW, Suite 250, Washington DC 20005