Raised on a farm, Jay learned early to work hard and knew the struggle of growing up without a mother, his mother having passed away when he was just four-years-old. He began working full-time at the young age of 16 as a crew caller for the Union Pacific Railroad, while at the same time, attending Delta High School. After his graduation and following the lead of his older brothers, Jay enlisted in the U.S. Navy, just a few days after his 18th birthday and two months prior to the end of WWII. He served aboard the USS Pensacola, a heavy cruiser and part of the division which took the surrender of northern Japan.
While on leave from his military duties, he married his sweetheart, Cathryn Mae Bosh, On March 15, 1946, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their marriage was solemnized in the St. George Temple in 1952. The couple settled in Cedar City in 1948, and soon thereafter, Jay began his lifelong endeavor as the owner and operator of a farm supply business, Overson's Feed and Seed, and later...Overson's Farm Center. He treasured his relationships with local farmers and was dedicated to providing them the best service possible.
Always active in civic affairs, he served on the Iron County School Board, and with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as in the American Legion. Additionally, he was a member of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, and was treasurer of the Cedar City Chapter for many years. He also played an important role in the planning and development of the WWII section of the Cedar City Veteran's Park. Jay was an avid reader and a lover of the scenic beauty of his southern Utah home. He particularly enjoyed watching the progress of the Indian Paintbrush, which grew naturally on the hillside near his home, and observing birds of all varieties in the area.
Throughout his life, Jay was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and served in many capacities including as a scoutmaster, Elders Quorum President, Bishop, and High Councilman. With his beloved companion, Cathryn, he served for several years as an ordinance worker in the St George Temple. He also spent countless hours in genealogical and family history research.
He was preceded in death by each of his siblings, Gladys, Joey, Grant, Warren and Gertrude. Also preceding him in death were: his grandsons, Coby J. Matheson and Cade Matheson, as well as infant grandsons, Robert Matthew Bigelow, Bry Christiansen, and Mason Christiansen. He is survived by: his wife, Cathryn, and children, Larry (Rae) Overson, Sharon Bigelow, Margo (Kim) Matheson, Cathy (Rich) Cortez and Robert (Kim) Overson. Eighteen grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren also survive him.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 11:00 am at the Cedar View Chapel located at 320 South 1925 West in Cedar City, Utah. A viewing will be held on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Southern Utah Mortuary, 190 North 300 West, Cedar City. And at the Church on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 from 9:30-10:30 am. Interment will be in the Cedar City Cemetery under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary.