FISHKILL, N.Y.—On Jan. 12, 2010, Jay David Montfort, a loving and generous son, husband and father, loyal friend and dedicated business leader, passed away at the age of 50.
According to his beloved wife, Jacqueline, “He was intelligent, witty, loving and generous. His interests were wide reaching and diverse yet he dedicated himself 100 percent to everything he did and was bound by duty and by always doing what was right.” Jay’s passions included flying, scuba diving, modern art and sculptures, collecting fine wines and world history. It was his family, however, that was his greatest love, and it was said of Jay that he “loved anything that was beautiful, but he loved his family more.”
Jay was born March 2, 1959, in Newburgh, N.Y. He attended Vassar’s Wimpfheimer School, Haldane Central School, and in the ninth grade began studying at the Hotchkiss School, where he met several lifelong friends. His Hotchkiss classmates introduced Jay to the beauty of Mount Desert Island, where he summered from the age of 14. Jay completed the combined Bachelor of Arts in studio art and Bachelor of Science in engineering and computer science at Bucknell University. He excelled in studio classes in painting, drawing and sculpture as well as art appreciation. He took great pride in his general engineering degree. Jay was also the concert committee chairman for two years. He brought a variety of artists to Bucknell including David Bromberg and David Crosby. In 1982, Jay followed his roots in the Hudson Valley and joined his father, John in the company his grandfather started 75 years before, Montfort Brothers, Inc. in Fishkill, N.Y., Jay aspired to operate the business with honor and integrity. A meticulous and methodical man, his work ethic was incomparable. He started out as a machine operator in one of the factories and was named president in 2000. At the time of his passing, he owned the business and two other manufacturing and masonry distribution companies, Federal Block Corp. and New Milford Block and Supply Corp. The company employs over 100 people and is a leading supplier in the tri-state area. Jay was a successful residential land developer as well. In 1998, Jay fell madly in love with Jacqueline Barlow. Although their time together was too short, they were blessed with two children, Alexander John and Elizabeth Dubois. The family resides in Fishkill, N.Y. Jay delighted in entertaining friends. On weekends and holidays, in the comfort of his home and with Jackie dishing up a gourmet feast, he provided an atmosphere that enabled everyone to laugh the night (and often morning) away. Wearing his signature silk Hawaiian shirt, he took great pleasure in watching his friends have a good time particularly at Invermeade, the family’s home in Southwest Harbor. Jay was a wonderful host, not only to his friends, but to good causes as well. He was passionate about giving to others and supported over 30 charities. Jay was on the Council Committee of Storm King Art Center, and a member of The Holland Society of New York and The Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.
Jay will live forever in the heart of his beloved Jackie and their children, Alexander, 8 and Elizabeth, 7. He is lovingly remembered by his stepchildren, Joseph and Darren Barlow, Darren’s wife, Marilyn, and their children, Leah and Jack. His mother, Elizabeth Frost Montfort and sister, Judy Montfort predeceased Jay. He is survived by his father, John Montfort; his stepmother, Beverly Montfort; and his brother, Jim Montfort.
Calling hours were held Jan. 20, 2010, at the Auchmoody Funeral Home, Fishkill, N.Y. A celebration of Jay’s life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, at the Frances Lehman Loeb Arts Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., with a reception following at the Vassar Alumni House. Mount Desert Island will be Jay’s final resting place. A memorial service on his beloved island will be held in the summer at Invermeade, the family home in Southwest Harbor.
For those who wish to make a donation in Jay’s memory, in lieu of flowers, the family would deeply appreciate contributions to enable Dr. Mark Frattini to continue his groundbreaking research in the cure for leukemia at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Donations can be sent to the following address: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., Box 432/Frattini, New York, NY 10065. Jay was an ardent supporter of the Harbor House on Mount Desert Island. This special place is the heart of the island community and serves to enrich lives by providing services for those in need along with civic, social, youth, and health and fitness programs. Gifts can be made in memory of Jay Montfort, Harbor House Community Center, 329 Main St., Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.