In Memorium: John “Jay” Melrose

Former Port Commissioner and Tireless Volunteer will be deeply missed by the Keyport Community

In late 2021 the Keyport Community mourned the loss of John “Jay” Melrose who was a pillar member of the community and long-term Port of Keyport Commissioner.

Jay was a part of the marine community his whole life. He grew up boating with his family, and during his childhood years, he had the opportunity to visit many Puget Sound ports aboard the family boat. These formative experiences distilled in him a deep appreciation for our waterfront resources. During high school, Jay spent his summers as a deckhand for Seattle Harbor Tours, where he ferried tourists and locals alike to Blake Island during the summer months.

After retiring from the United States Air Force, Jay and Laura moved to our small town of Keyport in 1997. He quickly became engaged at the port in 1999 when he volunteered to serve out the remaining 2 years of an incumbent commissioner who had resigned from office. He first took office in January 2000 and he had the opportunity to work with the long-time Port commissioner, Gene Dunlap. He continued his service as Port of Keyport commissioner for many more years, winning re-election for the position in 2001 and 2009.

Jay’s many years of service have had a lasting and positive impact on our port. During his time as Commissioner, Jay replaced and repaired water pipes at the dock, collected electrical readings, ensured proper charges for tenants, worked with contractors on new fencing and electrical upgrades, and had buoys replaced. He also coordinated the upgrade of the marina floats in 2009 and ensured that good lighting and security were available to tenants and visitors at the marina. He made sure that our Port was in good working order at all times and that the public who used the port had a positive experience. Anyone who knew Jay knows that this level of marine stewardship and concern for the safety and experience of our port’s users was just part of his character.

Jay also was instrumental in Port operations in less public ways. He coordinated the solutions to a state audit of public ports that owed rent to the Department of Natural Resources and ensured the Port had a comprehensive plan that would ensure it would remain a wonderful public resource for many years to come.

While accumulating all of these accomplishments for the Port of Keyport community, he was always available with a friendly smile to help boaters with issues on their vessels, or who needed assistance or information.

Jay will be deeply missed as an anchor of the Keyport community and a tireless volunteer of time, energy, creativity, and stewardship to the highest standards of marine sportsmanship.

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