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James “Jay” Sykes Melvin passed away peacefully, but unexpectedly, in Hampton, Virginia, on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at the age of 49. Jay is survived by his parents, George and Carol Melvin of Gloucester, Virginia; brother, George Melvin Jr. and wife Shelly Brown Melvin; sister, Megan Clevenger and fiancé Donald Gabbin; three nieces, Grace, Chloe, Zoe; nephew, Elliot, and his cousin and road trip partner Orin Ferguson. In addition to his family, Jay leaves behind a lifetime of friends and acquaintances that he touched with his charm and wit in Wyoming, Delaware, and Nevada. Jay was an active member of the Gloucester Church of Christ in Hayes, Virginia.

Jay was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on Jan. 2, 1971. He graduated from Casper College in Wyoming before attending James Madison University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Jay was a virtuoso musician who played tenor saxophone, piano and many other instruments. Jay loved jazz music and one of his greatest joys was attending live music and concerts. He was proud to have seen many of the jazz greats perform in person. He was a loving and obedient son, a constant companion to his siblings, a trusted friend, and was known as the best uncle ever. Jay was adored by his nieces and nephew, and he spoiled them with special gifts, handmade treats, and showered them with his love, attention, and affection. Jay was an avid photographer with a keen eye for capturing the beauty and randomness of the natural world. Jay was an adventurer and a traveler who was always up for a road trip or a long drive to see the sights and explore new places.

Jay was a shining light in the lives of all he met, and the world will be a darker place without him. While the family is devastated by the loss of our beloved Jay, we take solace in knowing that he is resting eternally in paradise in the embrace of our Heavenly Father. A public memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held on Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. at the Gloucester Church of Christ, Hayes. Fellowship will follow at the Melvin home. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing during the ceremony and fellowship.