Jay Richard Reich, Sr., 93, of Marietta, beloved husband, father, grandfather, agribusiness man and entrepreneur passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 16th, 2018. He was the devoted husband of Barbara Black Reich with whom he shared 47 years of marriage. Jay will be deeply missed by his loving wife and their eight children: Jay Richard Jr., “Rick” married to Susan Reich of Wilmington NC, Lisa J. Saylor of Maytown, Matthew E. married to Shirl Reich, Maytown, George A. “Tony” married to Sandra Reich of Marietta, Nicholas J. married to Bonnie Reich, Columbia, Daniel A. married to Sarah Reich of Bainbridge, Jeffrey R. married to Christine Eby of Maytown and Jennifer Eby also of Maytown. Also surviving are his sixteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren who will miss his special smile.
Born September 7, 1925, Jay’s childhood was spent on the family farm (circa 1742) located in East Donegal Township on Stackstown Road. Jay was the last surviving child of the late Jay M. and Mary O’Brien Reich, preceded in death by his four older brothers John, Joe, Ed, George and most recently by his only sister Mary H. Reich Sheetz.
As a young man, Jay’s life was deeply impacted by the Great Depression. Taking care of the farm was important to him and those times of hard work and frugality paved the path for his lifelong success in a variety of business endeavors.
When Jay graduated from East Donegal Township High School, class of 1943, his yearbook humorously stated that he wanted to become a boxer, however, after graduation he began a career in the poultry business by learning a skilled process known as Vent Sexing (a way to detect the gender of newly hatched chicks). His skill was in great demand by many commercial hatcheries throughout the eastern Atlantic shore states. Needing to be more accessible to the hatcheries, he attained his aviation license and began flying his “Aircoupe” to farms. In the early Fifties, Jay and his late wife, Marian Jean Marley Reich, (deceased- 1969) started Reich Poultry Farm, Inc., which over the years has evolved into a mail order business/hatchery offering a variety of chicks, turkeys and ducks. A tireless worker, Jay could reinvent himself at will. He operated a used car dealership and became a respected real estate investor. He served on the Board of Directors for Farmers First Bank and knew the moral value of farmland. He was proud to be included in agricultural circles. Jay was a member of St. Peter Catholic Church, Columbia where he served on the Altar and Rosary Society. Jay and his wife Barbara were seasoned travelers, easily making lasting friendships along the way. Their many trips to Ireland were Jay’s favorite, as well as visiting family in Hawaii, winter vacationing with friends in Florida and countless summer trips to a variety of east coast shore towns.
Jay greatly enjoyed the outdoors, especially all that the Susquehanna River has to offer. His summer cottage overlooking river near Accomac, York Country, was his place of respite and cherished memories of good times along the river.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Mary Mother of the Church Parish, 625 Union School Road, Mount Joy PA on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. with the Reverend Father Pang S. Tcheou as Celebrant. Interment will be private in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Klinesville. West Hempfield Township. His family will greet friends immediately after Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Hospice Community Care. PO Box 4125, Lancaster PA, 17604-4125, or to Mary Mother of the Church, 625 Union School Road, Mount Joy PA 17552