Daniel Brent Jay passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in the presence of his family members after a lengthy illness. Danny (as he was best known) was born in Sweetwater, Texas on August 27, 1956, to Bonnie and Clyde Jay. Danny took great joy in sharing that his parents were also in the banking business as well as having such famous names. Their story is probably the source of Danny’s talent for telling jokes and funny stories – he was always looking for ways to make others smile. And most people who knew Danny will tell you that he always left them with a laugh.
After graduating from high school, Danny attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in the fall of 1974, where he joined the Corps of Cadets as a baritone player in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. He was assigned to Maroon Band, which was renamed as the Artillery Band as he began his junior year. His passion for cadet life led to his being selected as a member of the prestigious Aggie Band Bugle Rank for his senior year. A member of the Aggie Class of 1978, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and received an Army ROTC commission on December 9, 1978.
As a Second Lieutenant, he reported to Ft Knox, Kentucky to complete the Armor Officers’ Basic Course. Upon graduation in May 1979, Danny’s initial assignment was to Ft Hood, Texas where he served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader, and Tank Company Executive Officer within 3rd Battalion, 1-67th Armor, 2nd Armored Division, “Hell on Wheels.” His next assignment would bring him back to Ft Knox, KY in January 1983 where he successfully completed the Armor Officers’ Advanced Course. Upon graduation, Danny’s next assignment sent him overseas to serve within the 1st Armored Division, “Old Ironsides,” where he was stationed in Erlangen, Germany. Promoted to Captain shortly before his arrival, he led a Tank Company, 2/37 Armor, and he served as Battalion Supply officer from October 1983 – December 1986. Danny returned to the US for his last active-duty assignment as a Combined Arms Tactics Instructor at the Field Artillery Basic Officer Course in Ft Sill, Oklahoma. While at Ft Sill, he completed a master’s degree in management at Webster University. Danny finished his military service in 1990 and left the service with an honorable discharge. His military awards include the Cold War Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Danny’s second career was serving as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he met the love of his life (and fellow Aggie), Brenda (’77). After they married, they moved to Bryan, Texas, where they lived until his passing. In addition to being one of the funniest guys you will ever meet, Danny loved golf (partly because he was good at it, but mostly because it gave him the opportunity to meet new people). Golf also gave him plenty of opportunities to test out his one-liners and dad-jokes on unwitting golf partners. His friends at Traditions Golf Course will miss his banter (and by the way, everyone he ever met became his friend). Danny also loved history and he was an ardent reader. He was also the biggest Aggie fan around – not just athletics, but all things TAMU. But his true love was Brenda - who brought him great joy during their time together. Danny would often tell people how blessed he was to have found her, and how grateful he was to expand his family with her two beautiful daughters and their families. In his final years, Danny especially excelled in becoming the best “Grand Dan” around to his and Brenda’s four grandsons.
Danny Jay is survived by his wife Brenda of the home, stepdaughters Monica Deal (Ryan) of Denver, CO and Melanie Ward (Phillip) of Bryan, TX, and grandsons Parker, Truman, Preston, and Oliver. He is also survived by brothers Billy Joe Jay (Nerissa) of Roscoe, TX and John Jay (Sandy) of Sweetwater, TX along with nephews Kyle (Alicia), Jared, and Clint and niece Bonnie (Roddy).
Danny recognized how blessed he and Brenda were, so he was also a great philanthropist (with Texas A&M University being the most common beneficiary). Before he passed away, he had been planning on creating a scholarship for “a regular person like me” (someone from a small west Texas town, without huge scholarships, and who is working their way through school). To honor his request, Brenda and her family have established the Daniel B. Jay ‘78 Memorial Scholarship. In lieu of flowers, they request that memorials be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. Please designate the Daniel B. Jay ‘78 Memorial Scholarship in the memo line of the check. You can also donate to the fund by clicking on this link and entering Danny’s name in the comments section: http://give.am/DanielJay78MemorialScholarship