Cover photo for Jay Kent Liljenquist's Obituary
1936 Jay 2023

Jay Kent Liljenquist

July 7, 1936 — August 30, 2023

Our dear loving father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend Jay Kent Liljenquist passed away peacefully surrounded by family on August 30, 2023 into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father after a long and valiant fight with cancer.
Jay was extraordinary. He deeply touched those he associated with, and will be missed by all.
In his youth he developed many interests, hobbies and talents. He tirelessly worked for hours along side his brothers to complete his dad’s infamous 10-minute jobs. As a young man after chores were completed, he spent Saturday afternoons downtown watching movies the rest of the day for a nickel. Jay never lost that love of movies, often seeing two or three a week the rest of his life.
Jay loved sports. He trained hard with the family horses to become a champion barrel racer. He played high school football, and was an avid snow skier. Summers were spent at the Bear Lake family cabin, where he developed into a wonderful boat driver. He delighted in teasing his brothers and sisters by whipping them through the reeds, during their water ski rides to sting their legs. Jay was an excellent slalom water skier with the ability to jump and clear both wakes in a single pass.
He loved his time in the great outdoors hunting pheasants, ducks, chukars, sage grouse, and doves. He spent countless hours scouring fields with his family, friends, and faithful array of Irish Setters, English Pointers, and German Shorthair dogs.
Jay was proud to be in the first graduating class of the new Olympus High School where he was always sporting a fancy car. He ran for class president against his good friend. The two close friends split the vote however, and a third classmate won the election. Jay was a devout follower of Jesus Christ and served as President of the first graduating Olympus High School Seminary class.
Jay diligently served a 2 ½ year mission in Sweden where he developed a great love for the Swedish people, his companions, and the most horrible smelling cheeses he could find. Though he did not see baptismal success as a missionary, he worked hard and paved the way for many future church members. Throughout the rest of his life, he loved surprising strangers, by opening a conversation speaking fluent Swedish to them. Everyone, especially Jay would have a good laugh.
Jay graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He became a successful Real Estate Broker, and often worked 6 days a week simply because he loved his work. It was at BYU that Jay met his future wife JoAn Lewis through his friend Ted Cowley who was dating her at the time. Ted ended up being the best man at the wedding.
Jay and JoAn were married in the Salt Lake Temple and settled for life in the Salt Lake Valley. They were blessed with four wonderful children. Jay and JoAn were kept busy in their many church callings, which often centered around the youth. Jay gave his all to every calling he received.
Jay loved to gather people together. The more the merrier was always his motto. You could find friends and loved ones with he and JoAn at movies, plays, ballets, out to dinner, playing cards, skiing, golfing or traveling. He also loved BYU sports. His children grew up watching live basketball and football games at the arena and stadium. He was proudly Cougar Blue through and through.
Jay and JoAn loved to travel together with their children, friends or extended family. They were blessed to see quite a bit of the world. Whether by plane, boat, motor home, or car they were game to go. Jay was famous for his VERY LONG road trips. There was usually a destination, or a loop through states on a map involved, but no real plan or more importantly a hotel to stay in. Somehow it always worked out, and if the kids were along for the trip, there would always be one or more amusement park stops. Jay was often heard to say, “Now I wonder where this road goes?” he never wanted to take the main routes, but much preferred scenic backroads sometimes to his family’s chagrin.
Through trials and tribulations, triumphs and thrills, Jay lived his life to the fullest. He never sat still, always wanted to be on the go, never planned ahead, could always squeeze one more thing in, and most of the time was famously late. His family and friends were greatly blessed to have his love, generosity, and great example. It was a privilege and honor to have him in our lives, and we all love and miss him dearly. Our comfort is that he is now reunited with so many loved family members and friends, and how sweet that joyous reunion must have been.
Jay is survived by his loving children, daughter Stacy Liljenquist-Mathis and his sons Darin (Becky) Liljenquist and Ryan (Ashli) Liljenquist. He was proud of his seven grandsons Rory, Bryton (Maren), Karsen (Lexi), Ethan (Abigail), Dakota, Kade, and Sky. He cherished his four adorable great grandchildren Hadley, Goldie, Bodhi, and Marceline. Jay is also survived by his loving son-in-law, Brett Wade, his brothers Robert (Vicki) Liljenquist and Craig (Liz) Liljenquist, his sisters Vicki Telford and Vauna (George) Cromwell and his sister-in-law, Jone Liljenquist.
Jay was preceded in death by his Eternal Companion JoAn Lewis Liljenquist and his beloved daughter Kara Wade. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Pearl Liljenquist, his in-laws Earl and Leah Lewis, and his oldest brother Val Liljenquist as well as many other dear family members and friends.
A viewing will be held Thursday, September 7, 2023 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Memorial Holladay~Cottonwood Mortuary, 4670 South Highland Drive, Holladay, Utah 84117.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday September 8, 2023 and will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Brighton 6th Ward, 2925 East Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood, Heights, Utah 84121 with a viewing 1 hour prior at 12:00 p.m.
Interment will take place at Memorial Holladay Cemetery, 4900 South Memory Lane, Holladay, Utah 84117.
Service Information
Viewing September 7, 2023 at 6-8 PM
Holladay Cottonwood Memorial Mortuary, 4670 South Highland Drive, Holladay, Utah 84117





Viewing September 8, 2023 at 12:00 PM
2925 East Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121





Funeral Service
September 8, 2023 at 1:00 PM
2925 East Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jay Kent Liljenquist, please visit our flower store.

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