Our Jaybird is gone

Jay-Holcomb-IBROur dear friend is gone. Jay Holcomb died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Modesto, CA. He was 63.

With his sisters Marianne and Judy, mother Joan, close family, friends and his goddaughter, Elizabeth, at his side, Jay was released from his pain today of kidney cancer that was diagnosed in January 2014.

Thank you for all your love, support, prayers, and good words. I know Jay appreciated all your thoughts.

There will be a celebration of his life in the coming weeks.

Please read the International Bird Rescue blog post on Jay’s impaction wildlife care

-Russ Curtis


24 thoughts on “Our Jaybird is gone

  1. Thank you for the news. My thoughts are with you and your family and the many people that Jay inspired over his life time. Best wishes Shorty

  2. Jay was truly an inspiration to all of us. His passion, dedication, and steadfast pursuit for what he felt was right for wildlife will be remembered by all who were fortunate enough to know and love him.

  3. When I got the email today from the post, I just knew it, somehow I felt that this was what it would say. As a tribute to his influence on the bird world it seems the nest of five finches that has been at my front door in a planter on the wall have come to “fruition” and are ready to fledge. Fully feathered and ready to go, like Jay, they are on to the next stage.

  4. Hard to put in words when you have a knot in your throat.
    To Jay: mentor, teacher, leader, and most of all a friend, thank you for helping find a voice for animals & myself. Rest in peace my friend. Love you !!

  5. It is with great sadness that I hear this. His soul will go on forever in the hearts of all those he touched with love and kindness. He leaves a rich legacy. He will be missed.

  6. Gone but never, ever forgotten. Forever in out hearts. Thank you Jay for all you did, all you gave and all that you shared. I feel incredibly fortunate to have known and worked with you and to have called you a friend. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, IBRRC and all those who mourn the loss of one of mankind’s finest. RIP dear Jay. Love Sarah xx

  7. Jay, your life, your expressed thoughts in actions and deeds affected the world on a grand stage of awareness. Your love demonstrated in action real change, we all have been blessed for your life and presence…YOU dear one, will be so very greatly missed! You are truly a champion… From my heart to yours… Trena

  8. As Helen Keller so eloquently said: ”What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” Let us not be sad, for Jay lived his life to the very fullest. We need to celebrate him, for he was able to make a difference in so many animals’ and people’s lives. We can be sure that Jay is now happy wherever he is and that he will be guiding all of us for the rest of our lives. Jay will be dearly missed, but every one of us knows that he will forever be present in our hearts and our memories.

  9. spirit away . . .

    The Ship
    I am standing upon the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails in the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
    Then someone at my side says, there she goes!”
    Gone Where? Gone from my sight… that is all.
    She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination.
    Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
    And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she goes!,” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “There she comes!”

    – Henry Jackson van Dyke (1852-1933)

  10. Thank you,Russ, for the update on Jay. I have no words except that we will miss him but feel it is release for him to peace and comfort. We mourn our loss but celebrate his launch. I send my condolences to all of you, his loving family.

    With Love,

    Joan Schimmelman

  11. I first worked directly with Jay some 17 years ago. I’ve always admired his consummate professionalism, and his humanism. One of my two, outstanding, TRUE avian heroes in the course of my professional career. I can’t feel that he hasn’t been somewhat robbed, and had so much more to give. He is, and will be, so very missed.

  12. It is with great sorrow that I have heard the sad news. “Thank you Jay for your great support for our nation. ” We never let go of the memory of his help and smile.

    I tender deepest sympathy and condolences to his family from Japan


  13. My heart is heavy, and I add my grief to the chorus of others that also mourn his loss. Words are inadequate, but I can only say that my sorrow is deep and sincere. The world has lost a great man. My most sincere sympathies to his family (which includes Mark and Russ), and his enormous circle of friends whom he touched and inspired. We’ll miss him.

  14. Jay, my heart feels heavy with an unsaid goodbye. I hope you’re now released from pain and flying free, sights set on the horizon with no need to land. Amidst all the ups, downs and unexpected turns that life can bring, I am so grateful to have known you and so sad to see you go. To all the friends and family you leave behind, especially the International Bird Rescue Team, my thoughts are with you at this time, and in the weeks and months ahead. Stay strong and celebrate his amazing life. I know together, you will make Jay’s legacy soar… for the birds.

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