Jay Gardiner, former Setauket Fire District commissioner, dies at 70

Jay Gardiner, former Setauket Fire District commissioner, dies at 70

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Former Setauket Fire District commissioner Jay Gardiner recently received a proclamation for his service from Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. Photo from Kara Hahn’s office

Jay L. Gardiner, of South Setauket and Bonita Beach, Florida, passed away on Oct. 15, 2021 after a hard fight against cancer.

Jay Gardiner

Born in the Bronx in 1951, he lived in Queens and Manhattan before moving to South Setauket in 1986.

Jay received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from CUNY Queens College and an MBA in management from Stern School of Graduate Business Administration from NYU in 1986.

A well-known figure in the plastics industry, having founded Gardiner Plastics in 1991, he was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2012.  The company became a well-known resin distributor and strategic consulting service.  He also was a Distinguished Member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, having served as president from 1996-1997.  He was also president of the Plastics Academy, Chair of the Plastics Institute of America, the Plastics Pioneers Association and member of the Board of the National Plastics Center and Museum.

Jay had a lifelong passion for emergency medical services as both a volunteer and educator. He served with the Setauket Fire Department for over 30 years and in numerous positions including EMS Director and Lieutenant.  His last five years he served as a member of the Board of Fire Commissioners and chaired that board for the last three years. He taught at Suffolk County Community College and attained the rank of associate professor. He also served on the New York State EMS regional faculty, the training center faculty of Saint Francis Hospital and several other institutions. He chaired the Suffolk County Regional EMS Association from 2012-2013. He believed that his best learning came from his students, many of which went on to careers in medicine, and he was very proud of that.

Jay was an avid golfer and sports fan, following the New York Yankees, Islanders and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Notre Dame football. His greatest love, however, was spending time with his Diane, traveling, dining, playing golf and visiting places all over the world. His only regret was not having enough time to finish his life with those that he loved.

He is survived by his wife, soulmate and best friend, Diane (Mush).  He is also survived by his four children Shawn (Marggorie), Sarah, Evan (Kristy) and Jeremy (Carly); three beautiful grandchildren, Zoe, Colton and Jack, as well as Cassidy and Buddy, two very loyal Jack Russell terriers.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. Visitation is Wednesday Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.  A firematic service will be held at 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.