LIMA — John Jay Begg, 67, of Columbus Grove, Ohio, passed on October 26, 2020, at Lima Memorial Hospital. He suffered severe injuries from an accident in November, 2019 and fought valiantly over the past year. He passed peacefully and his last days were surrounded by his family and close friends.
Jay was born on July 11th, 1953 in Lima, Ohio to the late John Harley and Rosemary (Meyer) Begg. He grew up in Columbus Grove, Ohio. The oldest of four children, Jay became the 6th generation of his family to live on and manage the family farm in Monroe Township on Begg Road. He often told stories of driving the tractor starting at the age of 5. He was a 4-H member for 10 years and exhibited dairy cattle at the Putnam County Fair. He was also active in the Allen County Dairy Service Unit, selling milk in the fair booth beginning at the age of 8 and later serving as Treasurer of the organization.
Jay was a graduate of Columbus Grove High School and attended The Ohio State University at the Lima Campus. In addition to the family farm, Jay devoted his professional career to Allen County. Jay served the Allen County Agricultural Society as a member of the Board of Directors beginning in 1987, where he served for 9 years. He was director in charge of the Harness Racing and the Beef Departments, as well as assistant Jr. Fair Director. From 1995-2012, Jay proudly led the Allen County Fair as Manager for 17 years. In 2016, he was inducted into the Allen County Agricultural Society Hall of Fame. Following his retirement from that position he was elected as Allen County Commissioner from 2012-2020. Jay truly enjoyed his time as Commissioner. He deeply valued his colleagues and working for the people of Allen County. Jay was a leader who embodied integrity and was best known for his ability to connect with people.
A graduate of the 1994 Allen-Lima Leadership Class, Jay served on the Allen-Lima Leadership Board of Directors. He was a member of numerous boards and committees through his career including Director and past president of the Allen County Cattlemen Association, past president of the Allen County Farm Bureau, Chairman of the Ottawa River Coalition, Lima-Allen County Chamber of Commerce Board, The West Ohio Food Bank Board, Lima-Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Columbus Grove School Board, the Ohio Fair Managers Association Board of Directors, President Board of Allen County Commissioners, Chairman of Allen County Land Bank, Chairman of County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio (CEBCO), Allen County Republican Party Executive Committee Member, Rotary Board of Trustees, Allen County Workforce Policy Board Member, Allen County Economic Development Group Board Member, North Central Ohio Solid Waste District Board Member, Regional Planning Commission Executive Committee Member, Allen County Food
Policy Council Co Chair, Activate Allen County, and was very active in the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
Jay was the main attraction for his grandkids during their many summer weekends at Indian Lake. He had a love for life that was contagious and an uncanny ability to make every moment fun. Hobbies included beekeeping and tapping trees for maple syrup. He also enjoyed assisting his wife Stephanie at craft shows as “set-up guy” and “cashier extraordinaire”.
Jay is survived by his wife of 36 years, Stephanie (Harthun) Begg of Columbus Grove; a son; John Bryan (Stacy) Begg of Troy; daughters, Kelly (Eloise) Lawrence of Boston, MA, and Brittany (Dan) Lee of Ada; brother, Robert (Ken Ogden) Begg of Medford, OR; sisters, Valerie (Steve) Kiene of Pandora and Anne (Sam) Halker of Lima.
Jay took on many roles in his life, but one of his favorites was being a Grandpa. Papa Jay will be forever remembered and loved by his grandchildren; Silas, Theo, Carter, Everett, Emersyn, Ellie, Hudson, Avarie, Adyson, Casey, Braden, and Alex.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a grandson, Tyler Aiken and children Shane Stewart and Jonah Simon.
The family wishes to thank everyone for the prayers, wishes and kind deeds expressed to them during the past eleven months. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Jay Begg Memorial Fund. All funds will be utilized to give back to the Allen County Community and initiatives that Jay cared so much about. In care of The Union Bank Company, 100 S. High Street, Columbus Grove, OH 45830.
Private family services will be Thursday, October 29th 2020 at Hartman Sons Funeral Home in Columbus Grove. A public celebration of life will be held at a future date, to be announced.
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