Jay Finnigan Sr.

January 1, 1952April 6, 2013
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Jay “Big J” Finnigan passed away in Charleston, SC on Saturday, April 6th at the age of 61. Jay is survived by his loving wife, Eileen, of 41 years. They were married in Southern New Jersey on June 3, 1972, and lived on the Jersey Shore, Dallas, Texas, and then Northern Jersey, before settling in Raleigh in 1996. Jay and Eileen loved to surround themselves with family and friends, from entertaining at home to traveling to visit those far away. Jay often said his most valuable things in his life are his marriage and his family. Jay is survived by Eileen and their son, Jay, daughter Katie, daughter-in-law Jennifer, son-in-law Landon Mariani, as well as four grand children, Shannon(13), Reese(10), Drew(7), and Elle(1). He was an extremely proud grandfather – although always felt he was too young to be called “grandpa” and preferred to go by “Big Jay”. Jay is also survived by his sister Ann, and brothers Tom, Pat, Mike, Ed, and Rob, as well as brothers-in-law Steve, Jack, Kevin, and Kevin, and sisters-in-law Marianne, Kathy, Carol, Janet, Janet, Joyce, Barb, Denise, and Charmaine, not to mention a large number of nieces and nephews that includes three godchildren, Wendy, Summer, and Chase who he was honored and proud of. Jay was born in South Jersey on New Year’s Day 1952, graduated Edgewood High School, was awarded a scholarship to RCA Technical College, and later earned a Bachelor degree in business administration from the University of Texas. He worked in several fields including computer hardware during computer boom of the 70’s and 80’s, and most recently in the healthcare industry. Jay was instrumental in leading several Fortune 500 companies’ customer service departments, earning numerous awards throughout his distinguished professional career of more than 40 years. He never was one to speak of his own accomplishments, but beamed when telling others how proud he was of his children’s careers. He spoke highly of Jay and Katie’s work in marketing, and Landon’s work with Campbell University’s football team. He loved to experience the football games and team events through Katie and Landon’s eyes, and became a very passionate supporter of the Campbell’s football program. Jay was an avid golfer, and loved nothing more than to play a round of golf with his two sons, and good friends. He loved to compete in sports and games, and over the past three years found interest in long distance running, sharing the passion with his daughter, who together ran several 5K races where they could spend time and challenge each other to the finish line. The gentle giant with a big heart will sadly be missed, and forever be remembered as “Big J”. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613 on Thursday, April 11th with Jay’s family greeting mourners beginning at 12:30pm, and memorial service to begin promptly at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in the name of Jay Finnigan Sr to the Campbell University Football Program. Donations can be made on-line at under the “Fighting Camels Club” – “Make A Gift” link, or sent directly to Campbell University Athletics, attention Bob Roller, PO Box 10, Buies Creek, NC 27506. Condolences and fond memories can be sent to Mitchell Funeral Home.



  • Funeral Mass Thursday, April 11, 2013


  • Visitation

Jay Finnigan Sr.

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Joyce Flannery

May 9, 2014

When Eileen and Jay started dating I was just a kid but I remember it well. It wasn't love at first sight but it was indeed shortly after. I never saw Eileen as happy as when she was waiting for him to come over to pick her up for a date. They were meant for each other and they built a wonderful family. Thankfully Katie and Jay inherited his sense of humor. I know he would want us to concentrate on the happy things and the good times and there were so many.

Charmaine Sweeney

May 9, 2014

The first time I met Jay was in Texas, and from the moment I met him, I knew what a special person he was. He always made you feel welcomed and knew just how to make you laugh. I will always cherish the times I got to spend with Jay and the stories he shared. When he spoke of his family, you could tell how much he loved them. His love for them was immeasurable..

May 8, 2014

Jay was such a big asset to the Sweeney family.His dry humor was priceless. And his unconditional love for Eileen and his family was golden. A gentle giant is the perfect description of this wonderful man. He is sorely missed and will be forever.
Jack and Denise Sweeney

Jackie Compton

May 8, 2014

I have many fond memories of Uncle Jay. Over the years, I spent time in the summer with the Finnigans both in Freehold and in Raleigh. Uncle Jay was always welcoming and willing to listen to the tales of whatever adventures Katie and I had during the day. I will always remember the vacation I spent with Uncle Jay, Aunt Eileen and Katie in Florida. I still smile when I think about how we were "the Griswolds" at every restaurant!

When I think of Uncle Jay I remember his great sense of humor, kindness and generosity.

Kevin Flannery

May 8, 2014

Jay was a true gentleman who I always looked up to (literally and figureatively). He had a quick wit and always found humour in situations especially the situation when Jimmy S. shot off the Fireworks in Shark River Hills (I think Eileen will remember that). I enjoyed the many times we golfed with other family members and the patience he showed while he was on the green and a couple of us were still in the woods looking for our lost balls. When we moved into our house many years ago we had a lot of work to do. He visted one time and volunteered to build us shelves in our bathroom closet just because he wanted to help us. He did other things to help us but that one stands out in my mind. Jay was always a gracious and generous host whenever we visted in North Jersey, Dallas or Raleigh. He took an interest in my job and always asked how things were going workwise. I miss him and was very fortunate to have had him as a brother-in-law.

Barbara Marmarou

May 8, 2014

It's difficult for me to remember a time when I didn't know Jay. At family gatherings you could always count on him to lighten a moment,make you laugh or just smile. Jay loved his family, that was clear in every aspect of his life. And it was a mutual admiration society.
The memories of Jay are treasures that will be carried with us always. It's comforting to know that we were part of a well-lived life.

Jennifer Finnigan

May 8, 2014

I was 12 when I was first introduced to the Finnigan's. They had moved to Texas and our families spent a lot of time together. Although our families were friends, I didn't know Dad well when I was younger. It wasn't until I married into the family that my relationship with Dad grew. Dad always treated me like his daughter, like I naturally belonged in his family. He was kind, gentle, loving and thoughtful. He was always willing to answer any questions I had about computers, stocks or running. And he never made me feel inferior for my lack of knowledge in these areas.

When our oldest child was born, he
melted into mush and turned into a giant teddy bear. He was always a proud "Big Jay". As our children grew, he was always interested in their lives and enjoyed catching up with them, hearing about their days and spending time with them.

I miss not having Dad around...I miss his gentle soul, his kind word, his peaceful heart. I love you Dad!

Kerin Dungan

May 8, 2014

Uncle Jay was truly one of the kindest people I have ever met. Never would you see him where he did not greet you with a warm smile. His sense of humor was contagious and I will always remember the many times he made me laugh.

Kevin Sweeney

May 8, 2014

I was very young when my sister started dating Jay. He quickly became an older brother to me. I would spend a week every summer with Jay and Eileen and I was always treated like a King. I will never forget him taking me to the dealership to pick up and ride home in his brand new Datsun 280ZX. As a young kid just getting into the car stage of life this was a special event. Later in life he guided me through some career choices. All the mentoring, kindness, and generosity pale in comparison to his sense of humor. He had an uncanny ability to make people laugh. The first funeral I ever attended I laughed more than I cried cause Jay had a way of taking a bad situation and making it less uncomfortable. A wit so quick it would amaze. Thinking back now in the 40 +years I've known Jay I cannot recall one time where he lost his cool or raised his voice in anger. Even after I broke his driver on his brand new expensive golf clubs he was a calm as could be. A true gentle giant.

Mary Cockrill

April 29, 2014

Soft spoken and always so gentle! Jay was someone I literally looked up to! He had the best sense of humor and made me laugh. His smile was contagious and made you feel warm and welcome. My youngest , Kelly, was very lucky because she and Jay had such a special relationship! She loved him dearly for being there for her when she needed him. I thank God for allowing me to get to know this special man and his wonderful family! You will never be forgotten!