Jay Thurrott was born in Meriden, CT on June 12, 1950 and spent his childhood in Fishers Island, NY. After college, he moved down to New Smyrna Beach, FL in the early 70’s with his family.
Jay was a retired environmental chemist and worked for the City of Daytona Beach for over 30 years. He grew over 700 varieties of bromeliads at this home in Port Orange, Florida and had been growing bromeliads since the 70’s. A lifetime member of the Florida East Coast Society (FECBS), Jay was their newsletter editor and had served as secretary, vice president and president of that organization. He served as his club’s representative of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies (FCBS) for many years and is a past Chairman of that organization. He was also active in local garden club activities. He was a former president of the Halifax Council of Garden Clubs (a consortium of 7 garden clubs in the Daytona Beach area). He served two, three-year terms as president of the Bromeliad Society International (BSI) after having served as a director and vice-president of the organization. Jay was also a BSI accredited judge and had judged bromeliad shows in and out of the USA.
Jay enjoyed his plants (all things bromeliad), fishing, canoeing, reading, spending time with his family, traveling and walking on the beach. His wealth of knowledge, patience, wisdom, and humble demeanor was endearing to all who knew him.
Jay is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Calandra, his oldest daughter, Katy Donnelly, son in-law, Kenneth Donnelly, granddaughter, Lillian Donnelly, youngest daughter, Jillian Ragia, son in-law Jovan Ragia, and grandson, Damien Ragia.
Jay peacefully passed away on September 18, 2020 among family after an 8 year battle with melanoma. In light of the COVID pandemic, no celebration of life service will be held. This is Jay’s wish. Those who wish to send their condolences may mail them to Calandra’s home at 713 Breckenridge Drive, Port Orange, FL 32127.