Jay List died on November 7, 2020, at his home in Snyder, surrounded by wife, son, and dogs. He was 43. Jay was a loving husband to Andrea Ridings List, devoted father to son, Henry Ridings Martinez, and two beloved dogs. He is also survived by his parents, Robbin and Eileen (Meyer) List, brother Jonathan (Christina) List, sister Katherine (Brian) Sullivan, 6 young nieces and nephews, several aunts and uncles, and many friends.
Jay was an avid runner. Among his many accomplishments were winning both the Mississippi Blues Marathon and the Adirondack Marathon in 2015, and competing in 7 consecutive Boston Marathons, the most recent in 2019. He won the the Master’s division of the Buffalo Marathon in 2018 and the Turkey Trot Master’s division in both 2017 and 2018. He was featured on the cover of Club Running magazine in Spring 2015 for his 2015 RRCA National Marathon Championship title.
Jay and his wife met through the local road racing community in 2015 and they married in 2016. Together, they had a goal of completing the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks, and becoming official “46Rs.” His diagnosis of cancer came after completion of only 28. Not to be deterred, the family then bought a mattress and a van, which they lovingly nicknamed ‘The Stank Wagon’ and traveled to the Adirondacks as often as he was able. They completed the 46 peaks on June 6, 2020, 9 months after his diagnosis.
Jay’s joys were running, hiking, fishing and playing video games with Henry, and discussing good beer- which he got the opportunity to do in 12 years as a store manager at Consumer’s Beverages.
Jay was hilarious. Shortly after their first date, Jay brought his new girlfriend a keychain that read, “Crazy For You,” and a magnet that read “Angela” from a marathon he’d run out of state. As he presented these souvenirs, he cooly mentioned that it should be read not as, “Crazy For You,” but as, “Hey crazy! This is for you,” and that no, they were not out of magnets that said Andrea, why was she asking? She agreed to marry him less than two months later, and it was the best decision of both of their lives.
The bond between Henry and Jay was a special one. When Henry was asked to draw a picture of his best friend in 5th grade, he drew Jay. Once, while his wife worked, Jay took Henry to the Old Home Days festival. She asked only that he not let Henry come home with a goldfish, so he didn’t. They came home with TWO. Festival Goldfish 1 and 2 are also remembered fondly, and will ever be a source of laughter.
Jay was blessed with the List Family sleeping gene, meaning he could fall asleep anywhere, anytime. His most notable naps were during a live Ray LaMontagne concert and through almost every movie he ever watched. On one of the family’s last Adirondack trips, camping miles into the backcountry, an aggressive black bear entered their open-air sleeping camp and hovered over the family’s faces. Jay woke briefly to ask his wife why she was screaming, quietly scolded the bear, then returned to a deep slumber all within a matter of 20 seconds. While he vehemently denied it, his favorite movie was Bridget Jones’s Diary, during which, surprisingly, he never fell asleep.
Jay was close to his brother and sister, Jon and Katie. On holiday weekends, you could find the siblings and their families gathered in the back yard of one of their homes playing board games, or, as the List Family sleeping gene would dictate, napping.
Jay lived a great story, and is missed by his family and friends.
There will be no visitation or public services.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Adirondack Mountain Club in Jay’s name.