Weber State employee killed in Ogden crash remembered as a compassionate man

Friday , June 03, 2016 - 4:37 PM

LORETTA PARK, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — A 29-year-old Ogden man is being remembered by those he associated and worked with at Weber State University as compassionate and supportive.

Jay J. Jex died from injuries sustained in a multiple car crash at 3550 S. Harrison Blvd., on Thursday, June, 2, 2016. Citations and/or charges are pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

“He was a wonderful, kind, thoughtful person who was always giving encouraging comments and supportive comments to students in our program,” said Sarah Steimel, director of the university’s Master of Professional Communication Program.

Jex received his master’s degree in May and has worked at Weber State’s Stewart Library as the reference services coordinator since 2013. 

“We are, like those in the master of professional communication program, devastated,” said Kathy Payne, head of reference and information services.

Payne spent most of Friday consoling grieving coworkers and students. 

Jex, who grew up in Washington, is survived by his wife, Natalie Jo Jex. Payne said Jex’s parents are currently serving a mission out of the country for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also is survived by several siblings.

“He was really happy when he left work (on Thursday) because he had ordered a new bicycle and knowing Jay, it would have all the bells and whistles with it,” Payne said. 

Steimel, who was Jex’s advisor for his master thesis, said Jex’s thesis project focused on how technology, such as online chatting and social media, can make libraries a better place.

Jex used what he learned in the master’s program on his job, Payne said. He created YouTube videos for students to help them with research.

“I mean, how many videos can you do on citations, but Jay found a way to do it,” Payne said.

“He cared very deeply about the students he worked with at the library,” Steimel said. 

Although a quiet man, Jex also brought to his work a sense of humor, Payne said. 

He used that humor with his creativity to get students excited about using the library. Every year Weber State hosts a “Block Party” the first Friday in September. For several years, Jex has created “prize-winning exhibit booths,” and 2015 was no exception, Payne said.

“He came dressed in ‘Steampunk’ regalia,” Payne said. 

Jex also was in charge of the library’s Facebook page, as well as creating posters and signs to “catch our students’ attention. That’s a big job, getting them into the library so they can see how we can make their lives easier,” Payne said. 

A lover of gadgets, Jex was working with staff on how the library could use 3-D scanners and printers to help students with their projects.

“He loved being a librarian and we loved having him,” Payne said. 

You can reach reporter Loretta Park at or at 801-625-4252. Follow her on Twitter@LorettaPark SE or like her on Facebook.

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