Jay Kenneth Katzen, 83, formerly of Fauquier County, passed away on April 9, 2020, at his home, Beaver Cabin at Talkeetna, Alaska.
He was born August 23, 1936, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Perry and Minnie Katzen.
Jay attended Princeton, graduating Magna Cum Laude in politics, and received the Philo Sherman Bennett prize. After earning his master’s at Yale, he entered the career Foreign Service with postings over 25 years in Australia, Burundi, both Congos, Romania, Mali, the United Nations, and the White House. He spoke five languages.
Jay served as consultant to the CEOs of five Fortune 50 companies for a decade, was vice chairman of the African Development Foundation, and acting Chief of Staff of the Peace Corps. A lifelong Republican, he was the first of his party to represent his rural 31st District constituency — including Fauquier County — in Virginia’s House of Delegates, where he served four terms (1994-2001) before narrowly losing in 2001 as the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. He was a visiting professor at Boston College’s Graduation School of Management and a member of several university boards.
Jay and his wife of 56 years, Paddy, were driving forces in the construction of the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was chairman of the Board of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge. The Katzens moved to Alaska in 2009, where Jay continued his service as a National Park Ranger. He leaves Paddy, three sons, Timothy, David and James (all Eagle Scouts) and seven grandchildren.
A celebration of his life in Talkeetna, Alaska, will be announced.