On Saturday, November 13, 2021, Javier (Jay, Javi) Vela, loving husband, father and grandfather of five, passed away at the age of 59.
Jay was born on August 18, 1962 in Rio Grande, TX to Constantino and Petra Vela. The family moved to Mexico soon after while his father travelled back and forth to Chicago and Southern California for work. The family eventually settled down in Roma, TX where his father built their house. On August 6, 1983 Jay married the love of his life, Nancy. They moved to Buckeye, AZ in 1984 and their daughter Mia was born shortly after they arrived.
Jay had several jobs in the Buckeye area including positions at Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant, at a local cotton gin and at Paradise Waste. When he began working security at the Arizona Center in Phoenix he realized his professional calling in law enforcement. He attended the police academy in the evenings while he worked by day and was promoted several times at the Arizona Center. He then began what would become a 30-year career with the Buckeye Police Department. Jay served over 20 years as a police officer and upon retirement went right back to work there as a civilian. He was also an avid music lover and played in the St. Henry Spanish Charismatic band on drums and bass guitar. He recorded a few CDs with his Spanish Gospel music bandmates. Jay and Nancy were involved in numerous church ministries and their marriage was a beautiful display of God’s plan for husband and wife. He attended the Kino Catechetical Institute where he became certified to properly teach the Catholic faith. Jay was a founding member of the St. Henry Men’s Group and loved sharing the gospel message with his brothers. Jay was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit but most of all for his love of the Lord, his family and his parish community.
Jay was preceded in death by his father, Constantino, and his brother, Constantino Jr. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his daughter Mia, his grandsons EJ, Evan, Erik, Adriel and Blanco, his sisters Maribel, Belia, Yesenia and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, November 22nd, 2021 at St. Henry Catholic Church, 24750 W. Lower Buckeye Rd. The viewing will begin at 9:30 AM with a rosary at 10:30 and the Mass will begin at 11:00.