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Scribner, Jay Donald

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April 17, 1936 - September 11, 2021

Scribner, Jay Donald

Jay D. Scribner passed away on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at his home in Dallas, Texas, surrounded by his four children. A father, grandfather, educator, mentor and friend to many, Jay is remembered as a loving, intelligent, down to earth soul who enjoyed a good time, and detested injustice. 

Jay was born in Ellsworth, Maine and spent time throughout his childhood in various places across the eastern part of the state, including Ellsworth, Portland, Scarborough, Eastport, Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor before graduating high school. In fact, he personified resilience and grace, living in 15 homes throughout his childhood. The one constant was his love of learning and basketball, both of which kept him focused on staying in school and going to college. His love and value for family and community were instilled early in life, having been cared for and supported by grandparents on both sides of his family, his Aunt Bernice and Uncle Yale, and innumerable members of the MDI community through his high school years. 

In 1961, on a chance encounter, he met the love of his life, Alicia Paredes. A year later, after sustaining a long distance relationship by correspondence with Alicia and her father, he embarked on his first trip via plane, and first trip out of New England, to marry Alicia in Los Angeles in 1962. Together they lived in East Winthrop, Maine; Palo Alto and Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA; Penn Valley, PA, Austin and Dallas Texas, always returning each summer to his favorite place on earth, Seal Harbor, Maine.

After graduating from Farmington Teachers College, Jay started his career as a teaching-principal in a three-room school house in Troy, Maine. He became a middle school principal in Auburn, ME after getting his Masters at the University of Maine, Orono. Soon after he was married and had his first child, he and his wife left Maine for Palo Alto, California where he pursued his doctorate in Education Administration at Stanford University. Jay started a career as a professor at UCLA in 1965, where he developed and secured federal funding for an innovative program that prepared leaders for urban schools in Los Angeles. During his stint at UCLA he was awarded the Alfred North Whitehead Fellowship, affording him the opportunity to study at Harvard for a year. In 1975 he was recruited to Philadelphia’s Temple University to lead the College of Education as Dean, where he led the development of programs in partnership with Philadelphia School District as well as in Nigeria and Tokyo. As an administrator and Dean, he always treated everyone with great dignity, and those he supervised in turn maintained fierce loyalties toward him.  Eventually, he moved to Texas for an endowed professorship at UT Austin in 1989. Throughout his entire career, he made a mark at these institutions locally and abroad aimed at diversifying the leadership ranks in education and improving conditions for underserved student populations. In doing so, he mentored students across the country and beyond who themselves make a difference as leaders in the field of education.

But, beyond a remarkable career, he was most at home in Seal Harbor, Maine, enjoying time with family and friends on his boat, “Seabbatical,” telling stories of his ancestors who were among the carpenters, home laundry and service staff to the families who summered on the island. He loved playing golf, watching old westerns and action movies, and for the last 35 years of his life had become a prolific artist, gifting his work to family and friends. His favorite subject matter were his grandchildren, Maine landscapes, Texas cowboy scenes, and Mexican farm workers – all reflections of what he loved in this world. 

Jay will be remembered by his children, Jay (Karen), Kent (Suleyka), Samantha and Connie (Ryan Shultz), grandchildren Pierce, Bo, Julian, Jacqueline, Sophia, Harper, and Everett, and his step-grandchildren, Peyton, Carson, Giovanni and Santino. He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Alicia, parents Jay and Dorothy, brother Henry, his Aunt Bernice and Uncle Yale Pierce, and his parents-in-law, Luis and Consuelo Paredes. 

A memorial service for Jay will be held on Mount Desert Island on June 23, 2022, with the burial of Jay’s and his wife, Alicia’s, cremated remains immediately following at the Seal Harbor Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a donation by check, with a notation that it is in memory of Jay D. Scribner, to the Northeast Harbor Library, 1 Joy Road, PO Box 279, Northeast Harbor, Maine 04662-0279.

Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.


Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252

(214) 306-6700

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Cindy Reed

September 17, 2021 9:36PM

My deepest condolences to the family. Jay improved so many lives just by knowing him. He will be missed but his legacy will live on for eternity.

Debra Cantu

September 17, 2021 1:43PM

Dear Family,
I was fortunate to have Dr. Scribner as my mentor, advisor and field supervisor and have fond memories of him visiting me at my school district. When he walked into a principal meeting, everyone circled around him to say hello, as he was well respected and admired. I was a principal intern and he encouraged me to apply for a grant, present at a national conference and apply for my doctorate. He inspired me and motivated me to develop life goals. I have wonderful memories seeing Dr. Scribner and his wife often at St. Mary's Cathedral. I was very touched when he reached out to me this past year to congratulate me on an accomplishment at work. He was such a thoughtful mentor, and I will miss him. I am sending love and prayers to his family.

Donna edwards

September 17, 2021 3:49AM

God bless everyone and my Dean friend.

Natalia Rico Hernández

September 16, 2021 10:07PM

I was so fortunate to have had Dr. Scribner as a teacher and mentor as a Master’s student at UT. That experience coincided with my good fortune of having Sam as a friend and also getting to know Dr. Alicia Scriber. Both made such an impact on my life as an educator. Please know Jay’s legacy lives in all of us who learned from him. My condolences to your beautiful family. Peace be with you.

Shawn & Ray Culver Williams

September 16, 2021 10:05PM

Dr. Jay was an icon of our family and the living embodiment of tolerance, acceptance, love and humor. He will forever live on in our hearts and his impact will forever live on through his family.

The Burrs

September 16, 2021 9:27PM

He lead a meaningful life and never boasted . His memory will live on in our family.. We are sending deep sympathy.

Gerardo R. Lopez

September 16, 2021 7:41PM

A lovely tribute to a beautiful man who dedicated his life to making the world a better place. He will be missed.

Mercy Fernandez

September 16, 2021 6:40PM

Knowing Jay and Alicia was a pleasure not only because they were smart and humble but because they felt like family from day one. I have miss Alicia and I will miss Jay as much. My love to all the family and hope of memories of them will transform this time of sorrow into a celebration of life.

Bobi Morrow

September 16, 2021 5:28PM

I am so sorry to learn of your father’s passing. He was my cousin as his mother and my farther were siblings. I didn’t really get to know him until I was 14 and spent the summer at Aunt Bernice’s home because she got me a job on the island for the summer. He was older than me but we spent many nights talking on the phone from his slow job at the local movie theater. We sorta kept in touch over the years but had a grand reunion when he and Alicia came for a wonderful visit. He reminded me of how he’d watch out for me at the local dances and I suspected he was as he circled around a lot. I loved his stories. We had a bond and I’m thrilled to have spent time with him. He was so proud of his family and shared pictures and stories. He did have a difficult childhood and I am blown away with his success. May he be blessed with Alicia on the other side snd I look forward to seeing them both again one day. Blessings to his family and I feel cheated that I never got to meet any of you. May God bless you all in your loss.

Alan Shoho

September 16, 2021 1:30PM

I will miss Jay, but I know he is with his beloved Alicia now and they are happy together.

Richard & Evelyn Shibles

September 16, 2021 6:41AM

Our sympathies on Jays passing. He achieved much from humble beginnings. We will miss him.