Jay Puckett died, suddenly, at his home outside Council Grove Saturday evening the June 27, 2020. He was 74 years old. Services will be Wednesday July 1, 2020 at 8pm at the shelter house of First Baptist Church. Dress is casual, bring your own chair or blanket and bug spray. No flowers please, memorial contributions to First Baptist Church for improvement and maintenance of the church grounds.
Jay Dean Puckett was born June 12, 1946 in Garrison, Kansas to Jessie Dial and Gerald Puckett. His childhood was spent on his parents’ farm in the company of his sister, Mimi, and numerous cousins. A farm accident caused him to spend time in Kansas City, Mo at St Luke’s Hospital and forced him inside where he picked up a love of reading. The family spent some time in Nevada before returning to Kansas where Jay graduated from St. George High School before going on to attend Kansas State University to study mechanical engineering. He spent time in Wichita driving race cars, both on an oval track and drag racing. At this time he drove freight for Mistletoe Express. After returning to Manhattan he worked for Byers construction. As a young man Jay helped build his parents’ house at Tuttle creek Reservoir with his father and uncle Don. He spent time in the Yukon Territory of Canada where his sister Mimi settled. He helped her and her family build a house and clear land there.
In 1979 Jay married Elaine Campbell and moved to Waverly, Kansas. He continued to work construction, building road bridges and commercial projects. In 1982 the growing family moved to their current address outside Council Grove. Jay partnered with Bill Downes creating BJ Construction. Jay soon began work on a house for his family. Building after work mostly on his own he finished the current family home in 1997. BJ Construction handled residential building and remodeling in and around Council Grove until Bill moved to Colorado in 1990. After this Jay continued to work freelance until he retired in 2008. Jay supported his children in their 4-H pursuits by serving on the fair board. Around 2000 he, Elaine and Quinten began attending First Baptist Church of Council Grove. Jay went on to serve as a trustee and more recently as a deacon.
Jay enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, and fishing. His dad took Jay fishing on the Blue River at a very young age and the sport was a lifelong passion that he enjoyed as often as he could, especially after retirement. He joined his cousin Larry Abell for elk hunting trips in the bitterroot wilderness in Idaho for over 20 years. Jay also hunted whitetail deer closer to home. He enjoyed bird hunting and kept and trained German Shorthair Pointers for a time. Jay’s other big love was reading. This began as a boy when he read the entire encyclopedia while convalescing and grew into a love that was passed to his daughters. Jay enjoyed reading about history, particularly WWII, and adventures true and fiction.
Jay is survived by his sister Mimi Elliot of Dawson City, Yukon, Canada; his wife Elaine Puckett of Council Grove; Daughters Amber Kovac (Nathan) of Prairie Village and Tara Thomsen (Dave) of Ft Hood, Texas; Son Quinten Puckett of Holton; and five granddaughters: Danica, Harlow, and Thea Thomsen and Cora and Wendy Kovac.
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