Jay Leo Winterford (Jacob Ray Pekarek)

April 6, 1993March 10, 2021
Obituary of Jay Leo Winterford (Jacob Ray Pekarek)
Jay passed away unexpectedly on March 10, 2021, breaking the hearts of their family, friends, and all those who loved them. They were 27 years young. Born Jacob Ray Pekarek in Fort Worth, TX, Jay grew up in Grapevine, TX, and Kingwood, TX. Jacob loved the outdoors and camping with all his friends and family from an early age, especially if his dogs Molly & PJ were there. Jacob had a beautiful smile, big blue eyes, and a delightfully infectious laugh. Jay was an honor student, an orchestra and academic letterman, and one of the Top Ten Students in the Class of 2011 at Kingwood Park High School. Jay was one-of-a-kind, a unique character. In addition to loving philosophy and having a sharp mind, Jay sought meaning behind all things. Jay was smart, curious, clever, and liked sharing knowledge with others. After starting as a philosophy major, Jay declared: “Stand Back -- I'm going to try Science!” and then earned a BS in 2015 from Trinity University, double majoring in Math and Chemistry. Jay was a member of the “Swashies" of Myrtle dorm, enjoying going out for pizza and Indian food, debating philosophy, hosting Haunted Halloween, playing Minecraft, and solving the world’s problems. Jay enjoyed playing games -- especially when winning. Jay was fond of cooking, experimenting, and playing with animals. Jay would wear shorts in a blizzard, celebrate Pi Day, make incredible costumes, and laugh out loud at The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Jay loved to have adventures and travel to see friends and family. There were lots of trips to Kerrville, Colorado Springs and Big Bend with Mimi, Papa & Mom. Jacob also spent many happy times in Westminster, Katy, Calgary, Spokane, and Nederland with Dad and Jeannie. This love of travel and adventure continued when Jay lived with friends on a sailboat in the Berkeley Marina, and, afterwards, in Zurich. Jay moved to Estes Park in 2018, where they often hiked in the park, camped, or just visited with good friends in Estes, Boulder, Longmont, and Denver. The world has truly lost a gem. Jay was preceded in death by loving grandparents, Ronald C. “Papa” Withers & Peggy J. “Mimi” Withers, and Richard L. “Grandpa” & Faye D. “Grandma” Pekarek. Jay is survived by loving family and friends around the world, including their mother, Katrina D. “Katy” Withers of Kingwood, TX, and father, Gary R. Pekarek & step-mother, Jeannie Pekarek of Nederland, CO; step-sister Lauren Smith; step-grandmother Jeannie Cheek of Tampa, FL; step-grandparents George & Dr. Pam Herrera of Ft Lauderdale, FL; uncles, Mark C. (Kathleen) Withers of Alpine, TX, and Jay (Linda) Pekarek of Longmont, CO; aunts, Lisa Pekarek & Cindy Pilkington of Nipomo, CA; nieces Krista & Kylie Smith of Gainesville, GA; cousins, Krista Pekarek of Golden, CO, Kayla Pekarek of Durham, NC, Kara Myers of Greeley, CO, Phillip Biggs and Paul Biggs; great-aunt, Annie Pearl Biggs; four sets of Herrera aunts & uncles; and nine cousins in GA. No memorial services are planned at this time. Please consider a donation in Jay's name to Out Boulder County, or The Carter Center. Please visit to share a memory of Jay and leave a message for their family.

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