Russell Jay Hurst
June 17, 1936 – September 26, 2021
Russell Jay Hurst, 85, passed away at his home with dignity, surrounded by his family.
Affectionately known as Jay Bird, he was born June 17, 1936 in Santa Monica to Bosworth and Sarah Hurst. Jay had four sisters, Barbara, Beverly, Linda and Donna. Jay attended Modesto High School where he graduated in the class of 1956. Jay married high school sweetheart Kay Durossette before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958 where he served as a medic. Jay was a mechanic for Theil Volkswagen, an electrician for Western Electric, a driver for Wadler’s Milk Company, and he retired as a UPS driver in Modesto where he made many friends on his routes. Always wearing cowboy boots, Jay was a true cowboy who rode bulls and horses and buying and selling animals. With help from his father-in-law and brothers-in-law Jay built two wonderful homes in south Modesto – one at 1636 River Road, and the other at 1018 Central Avenue.
Jay was left disabled after a brief illness but his poor prognosis didn’t affect his grit and determination to recover. He learned to walk, talk, and drive again. Jay stayed busy with his little farm and did much of his own maintenance despite his handicap. Jay’s “can-do” attitude was infectious.
Jay enjoyed personal relationships and meeting people and he never met a stranger. Store clerks, neighbors, nurses, and doctors, enjoyed his friendly ornery character.
Most of all, “Poppy” loved his grandkids. Pop would get a hug and three kisses when greeting or parting.
Pop will be remembered as a loyal, loving, “professional” grandpa, always there when needed, the dedication and time spent with his grandkids was unique, just like Pop. To have Pop look at you and say, “I love you,” may seem like a simple thing but to family it was much more.
Jay is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Kay Nadine of 63 years; his children, Jeff and Sheri Hurst, Tami and John Maring and Brad and Beckie Hurst; his grandchildren, Ali, Zach, Katie, Stefi, Kyndall, Wade, Holly, Brooke, Blake and Braden; and great-grandchildren Weston, Grace, Jules, Dylan, Emmy Mae, Wyatt, Charlotte, Jay, Jon, William, Ben, Evelyn, Olivia, Madeline, Jace, Crew, with two more on the way.
A graveside service was held on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Patterson District Cemetery in Patterson. Services were conducted by Hillview Funeral Chapel of Patterson.
–Ceres (Calif.) Courier
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021