Joseph Alexander “Jay” St. John (September 29, 1948 - May 14, 2023)

In loving memory of
Joseph Alexander “Jay” St. John
  • September 29, 1948
  • -
  • May 14, 2023

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Joseph Alexander “Jay” St. John, beloved educator and coach, died Sunday, May 14, 2023, after a long illness. Born on September 29, 1948, in Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital, Jay grew up in Old Greenwich, CT, before attending the Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ, and Boston University. Jay began his career in education at The Fessenden School in Newtown, MA, where he shared his passion for knowledge, his infectious sense of humor, and his incredible zest for
life with his students and athletes.

After Fessenden, Jay taught at the Allen Stevenson School in Manhattan before moving to Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL, where he served as history teacher, football coach, Dean of Students, and Head of School. Jay met his wife, Beth, in Winter Park and they married in 1989 and had their daughter, Kate, in 1991. After several successful years at Trinity, the St. Johns moved to Davie, FL, where Jay led The University School, and then to Southern Pines, NC, where he served as Head of School at The O’Neal School. A longtime member of The Episcopal Church, Jay led Emmanuel Episcopal Day School in Southern Pines before moving to Dothan, AL, where he served as Head of School at Houston Academy, followed by Frederica Academy in St. Simons Island, GA. Jay and Beth retired to the Tampa area in 2016.

Jay St. John loved music, movies, literature, and adventure. He was an avid traveler who greatly preferred experience to material wealth and took great pleasure in visiting foreign countries and new locales with Beth, Kate, and countless friends. Jay had a keen sense of humor, an indefatigable optimism, and a tremendous positive spirit. He loved a good story, was a gifted raconteur, and had a genuine curiosity about people that allowed him to make friends wherever he went. As a teacher, coach, and administrator, Jay is remembered for his
unwavering ability to see and encourage the potential in every individual. He believed in a well-rounded education that allowed students to explore their interests and discover their strengths, and he was a relentless champion of the underdog, inspiring legions of students to aim higher and achieve more than they thought possible. A faithful friend, a loving husband, a proud father, and a truly exceptional man, Jay will be sorely missed by those who were privileged to know him.

Jay St. John was preceded in death by his parents, William Black St. John and Kathleen O’Connell St. John, and his brother William. He is survived by his sister Kathleen St. John of Peekskill, NY, a nephew and three nieces, daughter Kate of Brooklyn, NY, and wife Beth. A celebration of his life will take place at All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park, FL, on Thursday, May 25th at 11:00 a.m.,
followed by a reception. The family requests that attendees not wear black, and in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your local Boys & Girls Club or ASPCA.


All Saints Episcopal Church
338 E Lyman Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Get Driving Directions

Date & Time:
May 25, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Monarch Crematory
Fort Myers, Fort Myers

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  1. Stephanie P Hillard says:
    23 May 2023
    Beth, Our heartfelt sympathy in your time of sorrow. George and I were so sorry to hear of Jay's death. Please know that you and Kate are in our thoughts and prayers. Jay's presence here at Emmanuel and especially at EDS are often fondly remembered. May your many happy memories of the past bring you a measure of comfort. We send our love along with our thoughts and prayers. May Jay rest in peace in the loving arms of our Savior. God's peace, Stephanie and George Hillard

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