A tribute to Jay Kitchen

December 24, 2015
By Marcy Shortuse

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow. What a ride!”
Emmett Benjamin Kitchen Jr. (Jay) 70, of Alexandria, Va. and Palm Island, died on Dec. 13, 2015 at his Palm Island home under the care of Tidwell Hospice, with his loving devoted wife, Kim, and his caretaker and friend David Farrall. Jay battled Parkinson’s disease for 16 years.
He was born in Washington D.C. on May 1, 1945 to the late Virginia and Ben Kitchen of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Jay was a graduate of Virginia Technological University with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
He started his career at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and served as a Wireless Telecom Policy Adviser.
Jay was President/CEO of the National Association of Business and Educational Radio (NABER) and President/CEO of Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA). Jay was a Fellow of the Radio Club of America and a past member of their board. He retired from the Wireless Industry after 36 years. In 2007 Jay was inducted into the The Wireless History Foundation “Hall of Fame”.
Jay lived life to the fullest, traveling the globe, scuba diving, skiing and had a passion for trains, both large and small, from the garden scale to the real thing. Jay was always maticulous and clever in his delivery of good words and always the best dressed in the room!
Jay is survived by his loving wife Dr. Kim Ierna Kitchen of Alexandria, Va., his sister Kay (Ray) Robinson, two sons Lee and Bryan (Shannon) Kitchen, four grandchildren, Benjamin, Morgan, Zoe, and Logan Kitchen, in-laws, Joseph and Gloria Ierna, sister in-laws, Karen, Cindy and Nicola Ierna, and brother-in-laws Todd and Joseph Ierna Jr.
An organization Jay and Kim are passionately involved with is Ocean CREST Alliance, a group working to assist the world leaders in the design, development and opeartions of a “Global Network of Marine Protected Areas”, part of which involves the building of the “Kitchen Kottage” a research and education facility located on Long Island, Bahamas.
The Kitchen Kottage is a living legacy of Jay to be honored and utilized by ocean champions; filmmakers, photographers, scientists, deep sea explorers, policy makers, celebrity ambassadors, inspirational leaders, academia and many other notable guests for generations to come; for the greater future of our Oceans, Planet and all Humanity!
There will be a Celebration of Life on January 16, 2016 from 1-3PM at Mount Vernon Country Club, 5111 Old Mill Rd., Alexandria, Va., 22309 and in Palm Island, Florida on Jan.2, 2016. Donations may be made to Ocean Crest Alliance at http://www.oceancrestalliance.org/JayKitchen/