A very good friend and business partner has passed away.
I’ve known him since Aug. of 2001; he was the funny old guy in the corner office. People didn’t seem to pay him much mind and I didn’t have direct contact with him at that time.
Shortly after starting work with the company, 9/11 happened. We had clients in the building and it was the slow decline for the company after that. As we shrunk in size we became closer. We moved to a new office in 2003 and I shared an office with Jay.
I had not gotten the pleasure to know the man for the first year and a half I worked for the company; he kind of stayed to himself. It wasn’t until our first business trip that we really bonded. Away from everyone and staying in NYC, there weren’t many distractions. There was nothing to do but walk the streets, find a good bar and/or restaurant. I really got to know him and we talked a great deal about many subjects from religion to politics.
Since then we took many business trips and many code camp trips around Florida. Jay was also a big FSU booster and a golden Chief (means he gets great tickets). I had gotten my season tickets from him for the past two years. Last year we had some great tailgating fun. I would bring the Rum and Coke and he would bring his grill and sausages. We had a lot of fun last season and I was dearly looking forward to the next season.
He became a good friend. He was there when I needed him. You could ask anything from him and he would do it if he could. We will all miss him dearly. He was a great story teller, I only wish I could get a chance to experience life the way he did.
As a young man he traveled around the world. He was in the USSR for a bit of travel as one of his stories goes. I would hear his stories at 2am while drinking rum and coke. They would always take you away to another time another place, though it could have also been the rum.
He had “his” sense of humor but no matter how bad anyone would hurt him even a close friend; he would not say bad things about the person. He was very forgiving in some ways. He handled situations much better then I would have. Some of the situations I’ve seen him in I would have decked the guy and landed him in the hospital (not Jay, the other guy).
Maybe that was it, he held it in. He held it in and it cracked his heart. The doctors said he had a lot of damage. It makes me wonder if all those times he held it in caused the damage.
There was a lot to Jay. He loved his family, although he never married, or had kids, he was very dedicated to his family. He was also a great uncle that you wish you had when you were growing up. He spent a great deal of time and effort to bring his family to the United States, sometimes one at a time. He would take his nephew’s to NYC for their 21st birthday and tried to make it a memorable occasion.
Even with everything going on at work and all the stress he decided to still go to a wedding in his family up north. He had started to have second thoughts about the trip and I remember telling him what he told me once. Family is all you have in this world.
He did everything he could to help people that he knew. He kept things going and gave guidance even through turbulent years of company financial woes and changes. He had vision and knew something special when he saw it. He was a very smart man and could just blow your mind away, especially in physics (he was physics major at FSU, many cycles back).
He will be missed by everyone that ever had the privilege to know him and spend time with him.
To Jay Karnik
May we see him again, and we wish him a wonderful journey
Now I begin a new journey myself and seek new opportunities.