Harvey Jay Platt was truly a giant amongst men (though he never quite reached 5’9’’). Born in Phoenix, to Harvey and Merle Platt on December 29, 1950, Jay spent most of his life in St. Johns, Arizona.
Involved in the family ranching business from the time he was a young boy, Jay and his younger siblings, Valerie, Richard and Marc enjoyed spending time with their dad on the ranch, branding, fixing fence and moving (or swearing at) cattle.
Jay graduated from St. Johns High School in 1968 and remained close with many of his classmates throughout his life. After graduation, Jay served two years as an L.D.S. missionary in Guatemala and loved the country and people. Soon after returning from his mission, Jay met Patricia Hamblin and they were married on January 2, 1974 in the Mesa temple; spending nearly every day of the next 48 years together. Jay called Tricia his “darling wife” and it was obvious to everyone who knew them that Tricia was truly the apple of his eye. Jay and Tricia were an amazing partnership and were “one” in all they did.
Jay earned degrees from ASU and later, Pepperdine University and worked for several years as an accountant and attorney before returning to St. Johns to run the family business; one of the best decisions he ever made. Jay LOVED ranching and working with cattle and was a powerful advocate for agriculture in Arizona.
Jay and Tricia were blessed with five children: Spencer (Kellie), Kristen (Chuck), Harvey (Kimberly), Treharne (Brindi) and Maren (Mike). His kids were able to work with him almost every day and when they moved back to St. Johns with their own families, Jay shared his love of ranching with his 23 grandchildren, who loved going with him to check water or feed bulls. He loved each of his children and their spouses fiercely and could not have been more proud of his grandchildren.
Jay lived life to the fullest. He was one of BYU football’s most loyal fans; bordering on obsessive and loved taking his family to games in Provo or anywhere else BYU was playing. He also followed the Pittsburg Pirates and Vernon Law. He was passionate about music and enjoyed anything from Mozart to Merle Haggard and loved singing in quartets. Jay loved good food and was fortunate to be married to a fabulous cook. He found joy working in his yard and garden and the smell of roasted green chiles filled his home every fall.
Travelling with Jay was always a memorable experience. He visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, England, Denmark, Scotland, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Mexico and Ecuador. Jay loved his country and was a student of American history all of his life. When he travelled with his family in the United States, he turned every trip into a history lesson. He had a brilliant mind and near photographic memory. He was an avid reader from the time he was young and could recall information he had read years earlier. He was always learning new things and was working his way through 4 to 5 books at any given time.
Jay’s life was defined by his faith in Jesus Christ and he lived it by serving others in countless ways. He was a natural teacher and had a gift for helping others to understand the gospel. Jay and Tricia served an LDS mission to Leeds, England and loved the young people in their institute classes. He also taught seminary, primary, 17/18 year old Sunday school, gospel doctrine, temple prep and a Book of Mormon Institute class. He served as a counselor to two mission presidents in the Arizona, Scottsdale mission and loved the relationships he made in that calling.
“Papa Jay” leaves an amazing legacy and will be missed by his dear family and beloved community of St. Johns.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. Johns Downtown chapel, with visitation one hour prior. Interment will follow the funeral services at the St. Johns Westside Cemetery.