Jay Grant Thompson, 55, of Cave Creek, Ariz., and formerly of Minot, passed away March 14, 2017, in a Phoenix hospital with loving family members at his side. He died from complications due to major surgery. Jay leaves behind Patty Fowler, his significant other of 25 years and “roommate,” as he teasingly called her.
Jay was born June 3, 1961, in St. Paul, Minn., to Ida Mae (Peterson) and John E. (Jack) Thompson, the youngest of six children. He grew up in Minot, N.D., and graduated from Minot High School in 1979. Soon after, Jay moved to the Phoenix area and worked in various types of construction until his death.
He was also handy in many other areas including landscaping, welding and grinding, and auto repair and refinishing. Jay crafted household items such as wire sculptures, curtain rods, and furniture. One of the family\'s favorite items was a rotating coffee table built by \"Lazy Jay,\" because he could spin it to reach the TV remote or his cigarettes.
Jay still considered Minot home and returned periodically to visit family and friends. Those close to him speculated that he didn’t come often because everyone had a “little job” they wanted him to do while he was in town. He also received a great deal of teasing because he wasn’t a fast worker due to being such a perfectionist.
Jay was a great lover of animals. The menagerie at the time of his death included four dogs: Emma, Scrappy (Jay\'s protector), Cain and Abel, and numerous tropical fish.
He was known as a caring man. Patty’s mom, Mona Vail, had a soft spot for Jay because he always made a big fuss over her. While he grew to be tall and broad, people always said his heart was just as big. Patty simply describes Jay as “kind, he would do anything for anybody if he could.”
It would be remiss to remember Jay and not mention his blue eyes, big smile, and smart, dry sense of humor. The family has been fondly recalling \"Jayisms,\" sayings and zingers he always had ready for a snappy reply. And despite what Jay said, his family still doesn\'t believe he was the best driver in the world.
Survivors include Jay\'s significant other Patty Fowler, Cave Creek, Ariz.; and her son: Clint (Vicky) Fowler, Sedona, Ariz.; Patty’s father: Bill Vail, Phoenix; and Patty’s brothers: David (Nancy) Vail, Phoenix; and Brian Vail, Cobur, Ore. Survivors in Jay\'s family include his brothers: David Thompson, Minot, N.D.; and Douglas (Cee Cee) Thompson, Lake Metigoshe, N.D., and Queen Creek, Ariz.; sister: Kimberlee Thompson (L. John MacMartin), Minot, N.D.; sister-in-law: Charlene Thompson, Minot, N.D.; step-brother: Steven (Margaret) Fruh, Minot; nephews: Jason Thompson, Gilbert, Ariz.; Keenan Thompson, Minot, N.D.; Seth Thompson, Minot, N.D.; and Brooks (Jennifer) Pederson, West Fargo, N.D.; nieces: Lindee (Mat) Sahli, Broomfield, Colo.; and Alish (Zachary) Charley, Bozeman, Mont.; and numerous great-nephews and great-nieces.
Jay was preceded in death by his mother Ida Mae (Thompson) Fruh; step-father Alfred M. Fruh; father Jack Thompson; step-mother Janet Thompson; brothers Steven E. Thompson and Paul M. Thompson; sister-in-law Marcela Thompson; nephew Shane Thompson; and Patty\'s mother Mona Vail and brother John Vail.
Celebrations of Jay\'s life will be held April 1 in Cave Creek, AZ, and in Minot, N.D., June 24. The gathering on April 1, will be held from 1-5 p.m. at Patty and Jay\'s home, 31018 N. 42nd Place, Cave Creek, AZ, 85331.