Jeff Gay

August 9, 1953 ~ January 26, 2022 (age 68)


Jeff Gay, age 68, of Jackson, Minnesota, passed away with his wife and daughter by his side, at his residence, on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Jackson, with Pastor Lance Isaacson officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022, at the Osterberg Funeral Home in Jackson. Military Honors will be performed by Jackson American Legion Post #130.

Burial will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to cancer research or cards would be appreciative.


Jeffrey L. Gay

I started out as a child, I’ve not progressed much further since then, according to my wife! OK, maybe some… Growing up is not an option, growing old is a struggle but growing forward is an art.

I was born and raised in Marshall, MN
I worked as a mechanic basically raised in my father’s shop
Graduated Marshall High School
Joined the Army National Guard as Infantry and ultimately went active duty as Infantry and Recruiter
I am married and have three children, Jason Gray, (special friend Maggie) who is now a known Christian Musician, Mandy Miller (Dustin) and our foster daughter, Terri Jandera (Bill).

Along with 9 grandchildren –

(Jason’s) Kristopher, Jacob & Gus Gray. (Mandy’s) Easton, Corbyn & Olyvia. (Terri’s) Jonathon, Casey & Jessica.

Throughout the years I found that bartending was not only a good part-time job it also afforded me the opportunity to get to know people at their best and their worst and everything in between thus teaching me the art of listening and how to handle difficult situations.
Over the years I have managed a couple of the clubs and worked as banquet chef.
I’ve been in sales, law enforcement (13 Years between St James & Jackson), was a volunteer fireman (Lynd), construction but overall, I remained in the military as full time support staff for a field artillery battery as well as a combat engineer company.
I retired from the Military with 25 years active duty and Guard/Reserve and then began working as a DoD contractor for 10 years assisting military families and servicemembers as they prepare for deployment and return and the families during the deployments in the absence of their servicemember.
I retired…
I retired from retirement
In mid-April 2018 I accepted the position of Jackson County Veteran Service Office through December 2021.

Facilitate court ordered domestic violence group training for SW Mental Health in Windom, MN
Board member for Women’s Rural Advocacy Program
Southwest EMS Programs

Critical Incident Stress Manager/Debriefer
Compassion Fatigue Therapist

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)

State Public Affairs Director
I also hold the position of State Ombudsman

American Legion

Past Commander of Post 113, Marshall, MN
7th District Commander of the Department of MN American Legion
Department State Training Chairperson.


Initiated “Jackson in Action” program to provide a community forum for local residents to speak concerns, ideas, etc.
Candidate for City of Jackson Alderman
City Councilman for Ward 2 in Jackson, Jan. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2021

 In my spare time I pluck away at my wife’s honey-do list, buy power tools (making sawdust out of perfectly good boards as I attempt wood working) and do freelance writing for a several organizations.


Jeffrey Lyman Gay, son of Lyman and Donna Mae (Johnson) Gay, was born on Sunday, August 9, 1953, in Marshall, Minnesota. He attended and graduated from Marshall High School. Jeff worked as a mechanic in his father’s shop growing up. Upon graduation he joined the Army National Guard. On November 14, 1981, Jeff was united in marriage to Debra Nordby at the First Lutheran Church in Marshall. Jeff and Deb lived in Jackson, where they raised their 2 children Jason and Mandy, along with a foster child Terri Jandera. Jeff wore many hats throughout his lifetime (as noted on his handwritten biography). On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, Jeff lost his battle with cancer at the age of 68 years, 5 months, and 17 days.

Jeff is survived by his wife of 40 years Deb; son Jason Gray (special friend Maggie Thorne), daughter Mandy (Dustin) Miller; former foster daughter Terri (Bill) Jandera; grandchildren Kristopher, Jacob, Gus, Easton, Corbyn, Olyvia, Jonathon, Casey, and Jessica; sister-in-law Nancy Moriss, aunts Kae Dressen, Shirley Jones and Edith Borden, along with many other cousins, family members and close friends.

Jeff is preceded in death by his parent’s Lyman and Donna Mae, in-laws Omer (Bud) and Elaine Nordby, and Uncle Bill Dressen.

Blessed be the memory of Jeffrey Lyman Gay.

Once last personal note from Jeff:

“Take care and safe ‘travels,’ keep a ‘mind’s eye’ open for me, I may show up at the darndest places in your trip!”


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jeff, please visit our floral store.


January 31, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Osterberg Funeral Home: Jackson
510 5th ST
Jackson, MN 56143

February 1, 2022

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Our Saviors Lutheran Church (Jackson)

Funeral Service
February 1, 2022

10:30 AM
Our Saviors Lutheran Church (Jackson)

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