Jay Breedlove

Obituary of Jay Hill Breedlove

Jay Hill Breedlove (1944 – 2021) stated in his 1962 Swain County High School Year Book that his life’s ambition was to “have a happy life.” While every life has its ups and downs and has its share of tragedies, it can be stated that Mr. Breedlove’s life was largely happy. Born in 1944 to Robert Breedlove (1907 – 1957) and Florence Grant Breedlove (1913 – 1993), Jay spent his childhood helping out on the family farm in the Needmore community of Swain County. Like many mountain families of that time, Jay’s family had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing while Jay was a child. Water for cooking, bathing, and the like came from a spring that was located near the family farm. Jay sought entertainment reading books and listening to a battery-powered radio while tending to farm animals before leaving for school. Jay attended Almond Elementary School in the 1950s and then Swain County High School in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His academic focus was college preparatory studies. After Jay graduated Swain County High School, he went on to attend Western Carolina University (WCU) where he ultimately earned an undergraduate degree in 1966. He also attended WCU while working a full-time job and raising a family. Additionally, Mr. Breedlove attended the University of Louisville in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Northwestern University in Washington State. In 1968, he secured a position with the Asheville Police Department and spent the entirety of his 29 year career there, retiring as a Major of police in 1997. In 1964, Jay married Linda Letterman, and together, the two had 3 children: William, Sharon, and Tonia Breedlove. Jay has 10 grandchildren and two great-grand child. Surviving Jay are his wife of 57 years, Linda Letterman Breedlove, his son William Breedlove, two daughters, Sharon Breedlove and Tonia Breedlove, and three sisters, Fay Breedlove Kopis (Jay’s fraternal twin), Ann Breedlove Harwood, and Cathy Breedlove Cloer. Preceding him in death are his parents: Robert Breedlove (1907 - 1957) and Florence Grant Breedlove (1913 – 1993), two brothers: Curtis Breedlove (1938 – 1969) and Neville Breedlove (1946 – 2002), a grandson: Michael Breedlove (1989 – 2006), and a great-grandson: Caleb Smith (2006 – 2008). Jay Breedlove was a no nonsense man. He was headstrong in his ways, yet was a hard worker who was self-made. He supported his family throughout his life and was someone who was willing to help anyone who needed help. Jay was 77 at the time of his death. Funeral services will be held at Groce Funeral Home Tuesday, August 17, 2021, at 2:00pm with visitation with the family from 1:00 to 2:00pm on Patton Avenue in Asheville, NC followed by burial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Candler, NC.
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