John Joseph Gilbert
August 16, 1974 - June 30, 2019
Born and raised in Braintree, Massachusetts, Jay was a devoted son to his parents, John and Lois, the youngest sibling to Michael, Diana and Marianne, an uncle to Cameron, Jaime, Taylor and Caitlyn and close with his extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Jay also had a large group of life long friends . He graduated with the Class of 1992 at Braintree High School, where he played on the hockey team. He continued his education at Quincy College and went on to work in the IT and trade show industries.
Jay was also a loyal and loving partner to his girlfriend Susan. They were inseparable, supported each other in good or bad times and built a wonderful life together filled with love, laughter and joy. In 2018, they celebrated moving into their new home and spent the year filling it with happiness and creating memories.
With a passion for life, Jay took every opportunity to laugh and have a good time with friends or family and was always the last one to leave a party. He enjoyed sports and could always be found watching the Patriots, Bruins, or Red Sox. He loved traveling, animals, fixing computers, fantasy football, cooking, reading and enjoyed nothing more than a beer at a terribly good dive bar.
Jay was an avid golfer, a member of the Pin High Golf Club and shot a hole in one while playing with friends at Easton Country Club. He could frequently be found working on his game at a driving range or squeezing in a quick round whenever possible. Days filled with good weather, 18 holes, great friends and celebrating after a round at the clubhouse were always his favorite.
Jay was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic Rectal Cancer in 2016 at the young age of 41. He faced cancer and treatment courageously, approaching each appointment with positivity and optimism. In his three years as a patient at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he was treated with kindness, compassion and dignity. He trusted his care team explicitly and over time they became like family to him. He regularly referred to his oncologist, Dr. Thomas Abrams, as "the big guy" and during the most difficult discussions, his usual question to Dr. Abrams was "I'll still be able to golf, right?". His nurse and all the nurses and volunteers on his treatment floor treated him like gold and always greeted him with a smile or friendly hug. They knew his favorite spots to sit, volunteers would bring him extra treats and he was known for trying to get in on the nurses potluck lunches. Jay rarely complained or let worry show, he was most likely to be concerned with how others were dealing with his diagnosis and treatment. Jay was the one reassuring everyone that he was okay and feeling good. From the moment he was diagnosed, Jay’s unfailing positive attitude won out. He made a commitment to living his best life possible, refusing to sacrifice the things and activities he loved because of cancer.
Throughout it all, Jay remained humble and kind, always willing to help a friend or stranger. He remained positive and hopeful, never shying away from speaking about his illness or sharing his experiences. He remained brave, bold and confident. Cancer was able to stop many things, but Jay's spirit and strength was unstoppable.