James Jay Hill, 65, of Dawson Springs, Ky., and formerly of Granite City, passed away at 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015.
He was born March 5, 1950, in Pittsfield, Ill., the eldest son of Harry W. Hill of Granite City and the late Betty Lou (Fraser) Hill. He was baptized Easter Sunday in 1951 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Wood River and had attended Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Schools in Granite City before graduating from Granite City High School in 1969. During high school, he was active in football and track. He later enlisted in the United States Army, where he had served in the Tropic Test Center in the Panama Canal Zone. Jay owned and operated Jay’s Inkslinger Tattoo Shop in Granite City and was also a motorcycle mechanic in the O’Fallon, Mo., area. Jay was a poet, artist, writer and good dancer. He enjoyed his days of camping, fishing, schrooming, computer gaming and riding motorcycles.
In addition to his beloved mother, he was preceded in death by two daughters, Jacqlyn Nicole Hill and Crystal Dawn Crummer. In addition to his father, he is survived by a daughter, Lacey Smith; granddaughter, Alexis Crummer; five brothers, Mark Hill of Imperial, Mo., David Hill of Granite City, Michael Hill of Farmersville, Ill., Timothy Hill of Cuba, Mo., and Donald Hill of Granite City; two sisters, Janice Justice of Duncansville, Texas, and Kathy Byrd of Granite City; many special nieces and nephews; great-nieces; great-nephews; other extended family and many friends.
Per Jay’s request, cremation rites were accorded and a tree will be planted in his memory. Inurnment will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice; www.irwinchapel.com.