It is with deep, immeasurable sadness we announce the unexpected and tragic passing of our father, husband, brother, uncle, and friend, Jay Pickett, on July 30th, 2021. Jay Harris Pickett was born on February 10, 1961 in Spokane, Washington. He was born the third of five children to Dick and Virginia Pickett; he was brother to Dee, Rich, Ginna (Maggard), and Jan (Larison). Jay spent his youth avidly rodeoing, devotedly playing sports, and tending to his treasured horses and many animals on the Pickett family homestead in Caldwell, Idaho. He attended Vallivue High School as an Honor student and multi-sport athlete who, along with his brother Rich, led their football team to a Class 2A state Championship in 1979. He went on to play football at Treasure Valley Community College and Boise State University while pursuing a career in acting.
Jay graduated from Boise State University with a BFA in Acting and went on to get his MFA in Theater Arts at UCLA, appearing in numerous theatrical productions at both schools. He left behind four decades of work on both the large and small screens, notably having originated the role of Frank Scanlon on Port Charles and later joining the cast of General Hospital. He enjoyed his work on Rags to Riches, China Beach, Mr. Belvedere, Days of Our Lives, Rumpelstiltskin, Dexter, Desperate Housewives, Abandoned, The Mentalist, NCIS: Los Angeles, Queen Sugar, The Work Wife, and so many others, along with Catch the Bullet, coming out September 2021. Jay also proudly co-wrote, produced, and starred in Soda Springs. Beyond his many roles, and persistent pursuit of the perfect take, Jay was warm, kind, generous, and charismatic. The relationships in Jay’s life were more important than any role he ever played. He was an unmistakably dedicated husband, father, brother, uncle, coach, and friend to so many. Jay’s relationships spanned far and wide and it is no question his life was bolstered by each and every one.
Jay’s passion for acting went beyond a vocation, it was part of who he was. A consummate artist and creative, he was voraciously devoted to his craft up to his final scene. He left us all while passionately pursuing his dream of bringing his film, Treasure Valley, to life. Jay had written the screenplay and was also producing and starring in what he believed would be his greatest project to date. His family feels truly blessed to have his talent and heart captured in this final project.
Jay was larger-than-life to his wife, Elena, and three children, Maegan, Michaela, and Tyler. He was a fearless leader, tireless mentor, and fierce protector. His endless pride and love for his children poured from his being. Jay married his college sweetheart, Elena Pickett, and together, as best friends and partners, they built a beautiful life in Los Angeles pursuing their dreams for the past 35 years.
Jay is survived by his wife, Elena, his children, Maegan, Ashley (daughter-in-law), Michaela, and Tyler, his four siblings and spouses, Dee Pickett (Brenda), Rich Pickett (Rhonda), Ginna Maggard (John), and Jan Larison (Bob), and 19 nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, Dick and Virginia. Jay was expecting his first grandchild in December. His legacy is infinite and will be forever proliferated by each soul he loved and touched.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 P.M. (Mountain Time) on Friday, August 20th, 2021 at the Nampa Civic Center. Streaming of the service is available at https://my.gather.app/family/jay-pickett A reception will follow in the Ford Idaho Center Rodeo Room, Nampa. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home Yraguen Chapel where an online guestbook and full obituary is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
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