WEST MEMPHIS - Japhas Andrew Gordon Jr., 52, of West Memphis, Ark. was born on September 19, 1964 to Japhas Andrew Gordon, Sr. and Lola Davis Gordon in Pine Bluff, Ark. He was preceded in death by his father, his paternal and maternal grandparents, and several uncles and aunts.
Japhas, affectionately known as Little Jay, Jay or Tiger, attended elementary and high school in the Dollarway School District, where he graduated in 1983. He then attended the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff (UAPB) from 1983 to 2000, where he studied music education and played alto saxophone for the UAPB marching band. In 1993, Jay graduated from the Food Services Program at Pines Vocational Technical School, also known as Southeast Arkansas College or “SEARK”.
Jay held positions with the UAPB Food Service, Walmart, Pizza Hut and Tyson Foods.
From his toddler years, Jay demonstrated a passion and talent for music, starting enthusiastically with a drum set that kept the Gordon household on its toes. He learned to compose beautiful chords on the piano, and was an excellent electric bass guitarist, who was devoted to the Jackson Five…to the point of developing artistic skills to portray the group in a variety of uniforms and poses on his bedroom walls.
He accompanied many church choirs; participated in numerous musicals, and was a dedicated member of the Men in Black Chorus. He accepted the Lord at an early age and was baptized at Barraque Street Missionary Baptist Church.
Jay cherished his family, looking forward to all family gatherings, and was a devoted friend to many. He, in turn, was greatly loved by his family and his kindness and positive outlook endeared him to all. He maintained consistent contact via phone calls and emails to his extended family, neighbors and a multitude of friends and former classmates. His last years were spent at the Points of Light Assisted Living Facility in West Memphis, Ark., where he developed close friendships with the staff and residents.
During this time, he was a regular worshipper at Anointed Faith Ministry in Memphis, Tenn.
Jay departed this life suddenly on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. He leaves to mourn his passing his mother, Lola Davis Gordon; sisters, Fon Louise Gordon, Ph.D., Sheila Phillips Hawes, Esq. (James), Sandra Phillips Johnson, M.A. (Charles, deceased) and Robin Jeffers Perry, M.D. (Mitchell); nieces and nephews, Malcolm and Jennifer Jeffers, James Maxwell and Madeline Hawes; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and friends.Visitation will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2017 at Barraque Street Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 W. Pullen Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2017, also at Barraque Street Missionary Baptist Church, led by Pastor Lloyd A. Holcomb, Jr. Interment will be in Cedar Grove Section, of the City of Pine Bluff Cemetery. His body will lie in-state Saturday, 9:15 a.m., until service.
The family requests donations to the UAPB Foundation directed to the Department of Music in lieu of other gifts, if desired.