Since 1893 the Jay Family has provided service to families of the Central San Joaquin Valley. Richard Curtis Jay owned a furniture and dry good establishment near the Yosemite Mace Hotel in Madera when he was called to provide a casket for a person of limited means. With this act of compassion he had begun a tradition of funeral service that continues today. His son, Robert Seldon Jay joined him in the business in the early 1900’s. After his father’s death in 1916, Robert continued the service to Madera County for over 30 years. His son, Robert Charles Jay returned from service in WWII to join with his father in the business.
In 1898, Richard Curtis Jay was elected at the Madera County Coroner/Public Administrator. This also began a three generation span of service to Madera County with his son and grandson following in his footsteps as elected officials.
From the early beginnings, the guiding principle has been service to families in need. No matter the time of day or night, the special requests for service or the financial needs, the Jay Family have strived to comfort the family at the time of loss of a loved one.
In 1960, Robert C. Jay and wife Priscilla, built the nicest chapel facility in the Central Valley. Designed as a funeral chapel, it features a modern chapel, 4 visitation rooms, arrangement offices and other facilities for the service to families. Today, this remains as a facility unmatched in the area and is located next door to Arbor Vitae Cemetery.
The present owners include Robert C. and Priscilla Jay’s daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Dan Whistler, their son Robert C. Jay, Jr., and Richard Speelmon. With the many years of experience at Jay Chapel, they have continued the same dedication to service that has been a hallmark of the Jay Family. Our staff includes our manager, Wayne A. Gomes with over 30 years experience of providing professional service. Les Riffel and Mark Peruch are funeral directors with over 30 years experience. Our office staff includes Elizabeth Dunn, Cyndi Farr, and Rhonda Graham who complete all the paper work and bookkeeping service. We have additional staff for assistance with funerals and errands.
With a foundation of service now in the third century, the professional staff of Jay Chapel is dedicated to high ethical standards, committed to personal service to all families and strives to a level of compassionate care for the families we serve.