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James Joseph Shay, Jr.
Sergeant, United States Army
Connecticut State Flag
Courtesy of Kevin J. Shay: April 29, 2008

James Joseph Shay, Jr.
[Aug. 20, 1923 - April 20, 2008]

James Joseph Shay, Jr., passed away peacefully from natural causes on April 20, 2008, in Richardson, Texas. He was 84.

Mr. Shay was born on August 20, 1923, in Milford, Conn. After graduating from Rye High School in Rye, N.Y., in 1942, he immediately went into the FBI as a Fingerprint Technician in Washington, D.C.

In 1943, he took unpaid military leave from the FBI to join the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving in the South Pacific region during World War II until 1946. He advanced to the rank of Sergeant and earned a Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon and Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon. A letter from his commander in 1944 referred to his "excellent character," "pleasing personality" and "splendid record."

JJ Shay Jr. World War II PHOTO

Mr. Shay rejoined the FBI and continued his lengthy career with that agency, working out of offices in Washington, D.C., Tampa, Florida, and Dallas, Texas. He was promoted from Fingerprint Technician to Fingerprint Unit Supervisor, then to Research Analyst and eventually Special Agent. As an agent, he worked in the Accounting Squad, where he investigated violations of federal laws and presented results to U.S. attorneys for prosecution. He also worked on robbery cases; in 1965 his picture was in the Tampa Tribune newspaper while interviewing a clerk about a diamond robbery case.

Mr. Shay sometimes led tours of the FBI Building in Washington, D.C. He attended nighttime accounting classes at Georgetown and Southeastern universities in Washington, and in 1950 he earned a Bachelor of Commercial Science degree from Southeastern University. According to a letter he wrote to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, he resigned from the FBI in 1968 due to personal reasons based on his desire to spend more time with his children.

Mr. Shay also worked as an IRS Information Specialist and eventually retired from that government agency. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6796, in Dallas and traveled to 49 states, all except Alaska.

Mr. Shay is survived by son and former daughter-in-law Kevin James Shay of Rockville, Maryland, and Michelle Shay of Gaithersburg, Maryland; daughter and son-in-law Kathleen and Barton Roffee of Richardson, Texas; son and daughter-in-law Patrick and Deneen Shay of Houston, Texas; and seven grandchildren, Erika Roffee, Julia Roffee, Morgan Shay, Austin Shay, Krystal Marie Shay, Preston Shay and McKenna Shay. He is preceded in death by daughter Sharon Shay.

Mr. Shay spent his life serving his country and helping others. He often said the most important part of his life was spending time with his children and grandchildren. He considered himself fortunate to live to be in his 80s.  He will be remembered by many for his "Hallelujah" greeting.

Services will be at 3 p.m. June 10 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Arrangements are being made by Eastgate Funeral Home in Garland, Texas.  Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Dallas Chapter, 4144 North Central Expressway, Suite 750, Dallas, Texas 75204, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6796, 9179 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.


SHAY, SHARON A D/O JAMES J
DATE OF BIRTH: 07/12/1955
DATE OF DEATH: 03/04/1965
BURIED AT: SECTION 12  SITE 6061
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

SHAY, JAMES JOSEPH
SGT   US ARMY
WORLD WAR II
DATE OF BIRTH: 08/20/1923
DATE OF DEATH: 04/20/2008
BURIED AT: SECTION 12  SITE 6061
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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Posted: 29 April 2008