Jack George Salay, 68, died recently at his home after a long illness.
A native of Trenton, NJ, Jack attended St. Stanislaus School, for which he played and excelled at basketball at the local Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), where teams from schools throughout the Diocese of Trenton competed. He was also a gifted baseball pitcher, playing for and later coaching the 6-11 Little League in Trenton.
Jack graduated from Cathedral High School, having recently attended his 50th reunion celebration. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, and was a flight instructor for many years.
Like many of his generation, Jack moved west, settling in Las Vegas in the late 1970s, where he embarked on a lifelong career in the gaming industry, working as a dealer of craps, blackjack, and roulette, and serving as a floor supervisor, for casinos including the Sands, Mirage, Beau Rivage, and MGM Grand. In 2010, he parlayed that experience into his well-received book “How to Play Craps.” Jack later moved to the South, working at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL, and the Island View in Gulfport, MS, from which he retired in 2019.
Although Jack never again lived in the Northeast, he never forgot his old Trenton neighborhood and the friends he made there; they remained his closest friends, and he had many. His gregarious, fun-seeking, forthright, and warm personality drew people to him, and most of the friends he made were friends for life.
Jack was predeceased by his parents, John T. and Helen Ann Gerepka Salay.
Surviving are his cousins: Raymond M. Gerepka, Marcia E. (Gerepka) Blicharz, Peter Gerepka, Norine A. Gerepka, Joan Schnorbus, Joan Salay Janusz, Maryanne C. (Gerepka) Taft, William R. Gerepka, Paula Schnorbus, and Thomas E. Peterman, Jr., numerous distant cousins, and devoted friends Marijane Supal, Marion Wszolek, and Jim Pequita.
Arrangements are pending.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities, the Catholic Youth Organization of Mercer County, or Sacred Heart Parish, Trenton.