James Lay, known to all as Jamie, was born on January 31, 1949 in Holtville, California. He passed at his home in Lakeside, Arizona, surrounded by loved ones on April 8, 2023.
Jamie attended school in Imperial, California and graduated from Imperial High School in 1967. While still in high school he began working at Cook’s Markets, which he would continue to do until 1980. During that time he managed stores at different locations throughout the Imperial Valley. Following his employment with Cook’s Markets, he went to work for Frito-Lay, until his retirement in 2011.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Jamie joined the U.S. Army and was soon sent to Vietnam. He spent thirteen months as an infantryman and was wounded in the line of duty. Not one to be kept down, he quickly recovered and was sent back into the jungles of Vietnam. After finishing his time in the Army, he returned to the Valley and married Nancy Fowlkes, also of Imperial. They spent their fifty years of marriage living first in Imperial, and later, in El Centro.
Jamie loved the outdoors, especially fishing, hunting, and coaching Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football. Two years ago Jamie and his wife moved to the White Mountains of Arizona. Both loved living in the area, even though it was for just a short time.
Jamie was preceded in death by his parents, Wanda and Edmond Lay of Imperial. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and his two sons, Randy (LuzAna) and Brent (Rachel), as well as two very special granddaughters, Olivia and Aubrey. Additional survivors include his sisters, Patsy Lomas (Donnie) of Indio, Delores Bristow (Jim) of Texas, and Wanda Rose, also of Texas; brothers, Charlie (Velma) of El Centro and Kenneth of Texas. Graveside services will be held with military honors, on April 21st at 10:00 am at Mountain View Cemetery, 895 Scaroni Road in Calexico. Pastor Matt Mincher of the First Sothern Baptist Church of Imperial will officiate.