He prepared for Princeton at Ridley Preparatory School. He majored in English, was a member of Ivy Club, and played cricket.
Jay was a highly successful businessman in the coal industry, selling his company in 1976 to dabble in other ventures. A 1982 article in Cincinnati magazine describes Thompson as a “very good businessman” with a “quick, brilliant mind” and “most at ease where he is king.” Eventually he founded and developed Spruce Creek Fly-In, a popular residential community built around a private airport near Port Orange, Fla.
His daughter, Caroline Springer ’86, hinted at how Thompson may have garnered the interest in his aviation-themed development. “He was an amazing storyteller. He was always able to capture an audience.”
Jay was very involved in the communities where he lived, at points making sizable contributions to schools and the arts. His donation to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park resulted in the creation of Thompson Shelterhouse Theater.
His marriage to Dorothy Angen lasted 35 years. He is survived by daughters Maryann Thompson ’83; Cynthia Thompson ’84 and her husband, Steven Miller; Pamela Thompson; and Caroline ’86 and her husband, Stephen Springer; 11 grandchildren; and Geraldine L. Schildt, his domestic partner for 14 years.