Jay was born on September 18, 1954 to Herman Haron(sky) an offset printer, and Etta, a homemaker. Jay was proceeded by his brother, Ira, seven years his elder. Jay’s grandparents were born in the Ukraine, and came to the states by virtue of a one-way ticket by the Bolsheviks. Herman and Etta met and settled down in Newark, New Jersey prior to WWII.
Herman served as a radio operator in the US Army Air Corps during the War, passing through North Africa, Italy, and Southern France on the way to Germany. Like so many other young couples, starting as family was their first priority. Ira was born in 1947, and they chose to stay in Newark. A second child finally compelled them to move into the Suburbs, and they bought a lovely cookie-cutter home in Rahway. Middle-class bliss was not, unfortunately, in their DNA.
Herman’s first heart attack, in his mid 50s, put an end to suburban life, and Jay grew up in a 5-room apartment through University. Jay did not remember his childhood as happy. Ira was an exceptional shortstop, often making plays that brought the opposing team to their feet in admiration of his elegance. Our parents did everything they could to squelch any hope of a career or even a hobby in sports, and so anger constantly boiled just below the surface.
Jay knew he was academically capable, but traditional occupations like medicine, accounting, and law were of little interest to him. A week at the Bermuda Biological Station when he was 16 was catalytic in giving his life purpose. In 1976, he graduated cum laude from Rutgers with two Honors Projects completed: one in molecular biology; one in field ecology. On the home front, he sold women’s shoes in downtown Newark…. anything to avoid being at home. He did not realize music was integral in his life – he just knew that every fall he was rehearsing at the Congregation AABC High Holidays Choir.
Then Jay was offered a full Research Scholarship at one of the top five Cell / Molecular Biology departments in the world, based on their manuscripts, high-impact papers, grants… the Dept of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. 6 Years later, PhD in Hand, Jay walked away from his old life, and started on a new life. In 1983 he was offered the rare opportunity to start his own Vaccine Research section at the new Johnson & Johnson Biotechnology Center in Sorrento Valley and moved to Pacific Beach. Ten years later he was promoted to Principal Scientist, but the downturn in San Diego biotech destroyed his professional hopes and dreams.
Some of his research accomplishments were the first cloning and sequencing of a muscle actin gene or a eukaryotic glycolytic enzyme gene, high resolution mapping of an actin hnRNA, and the production of several clinical-grade monoclonal antibodies at gram-scale. Some of the monoclonal antibodies he worked on fought ischemic stroke, acute tooth decay, and bacterial infections. He also made significant inroads into completely synthetic peptide vaccines, particularly against dental pathogens, His crowning achievement was, however, the design, procurement, construction, and running of a malaria vaccine pilot plant.
As his scientific life ran out of steam, Jay was discovering the value of home and hearth. Sarah and Jay married on November 2, 1986 after meeting through a local singles magazine, Presiding was Rabbi Aaron Gottesmann, who remained a mentor and friend for the rest of his life.
Nathaniel Chaim (Khai’-eem) Clarke Haron was born on June 21, 1990 and was an agreeable child from day 1. A fine mind and intense focus went along with his piercing blue eyes. Nathaniel made short work of Steele Canyon High School and plowed through the Computer Engineering program at SDSU, and is currently on the Engineering Staff at Qualcomm.
Gabriel (Gabe)Whitlock Clarke Haron was born November 3, 1994 and was a free spirit from day 1. He showed a unique aptitude for writing at a young age, and also had talent in music. His kind and caring nature, with a strong thrill-seeking drive, won out, and he is an Emergency Medical Technician with the goal of a nursing career that satisfies his need for excitement.
Ashley Rhymer joined the family in 2002 and is living with her husband, Stryder, in Northern California.
God watched the story of this small family with some degree of amusement. In 1998, Jay risked cutting ties with his family by requesting to be baptized and confirmed into the Episcopal Church by Bishop Gethen Hughes. Central to this decision was his friendship and admiration for Rev. Ned Kellogg and Music Minister Ken McMillen. Things worked out for the best with Jay’s family.
As Jay’s and Sarah’s growth in the church matured, they became active in Cursillo and took on more mentors, particularly Fr. Ed Renner from the newly formed Southern California arm of the Anglican Church.
Moving to the rural community of Jamul, and raising children led to Jay becoming involved in the community in many ways. Concern over development of land adjacent to their home, led to 10 years on the Jamul Dulzura community planning group. Concern over too few soccer coaches led to coaching AYSO soccer teams, and becoming an area level referee, and the boys involvement in Boy Scouts led to Jay becoming an assistant scoutmaster and being a leader on the troop 362 two week expedition to Philmont scout ranch.
Sarah Magdalen Clarke retired from United Technologies roughly the time Jay took ill with his cancer, but not until they made the Mission Trip to Davuilevu Bible College in Fiji. Her 40 year career in aerospace engineering was challenging, at times, but she was always the glue that held the family together, A second career as dressage competitor and riding instructor, and breeder of Norwegian Fjord Horses, promises to keep her occupied.
As fate would have it, Sarah and Jay were led to the Foothills United Methodist Church which has been their spiritual home for the past several years. Jay found a home in the Chancel Choir but illness has kept him from being as involved in it as he would have liked. Sarah has bloomed since becoming involved with People of Purpose and Meals on Wheels. There should be more opportunities for her to serve God through Foothills UMC, and particularly the Good Shepherd Center, in the future.
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Shannon Howard on January 10, 2018
Deborah Miles on January 10, 2018
Darryl Peralta on January 10, 2018