Date of Birth
Date of Death
Rick “Cricket” Lay, age 60, passed away surrounded by the love and prayers of his family, July 12, 2017. He broke free of his battle with cancer just before the stroke of midnight, thus escaping the dreaded number 13, and the chains that bound him to his earthly body.
He was born in Sandwich, IL, on January 3, 1957 to proud parents Christopher and Gloretta (Davis) Lay.
Cricket grew up in Elburn and attended local schools. He graduated from Kaneland High School with the class of 1975.
Cricket, never one to hold back much of anything, boldly announced to Cathy Diehl that he was going to marry herâ€¦on the second date. His proud proclamation was met with laughter, but it was Cricket who was proved right when they wed a year later on January 6th, 1979 at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil. They began their new life together in Elburn, later moving to Batavia and eventually to their present home in Maple Park where they celebrate 20 years of memories. Along the way, Cricket and Cathy were blessed with a son, Matt, in 1981 and daughter Andrea made the family complete in 1985.
Cricket was known far and wide through his various work ventures and service to the community. A friendship with Cricket was a friendship for life, and with many of them, he worked side-by-side for years. He worked for Chuck Fitzmaurice, at the Elburn gas station. Geneva Rentals for Randy Sutherland, Bartholet Concrete with Phil Bartholet, Johnsonâ€™s farm and with Ron Ehlers at Ehlers John Deere. In recent years, Cricket managed and bartended at HD Rockers in Maple Park, where his Margaritas and Bloody Maryâ€™s were legendary during the Friday Fish Fryâ€™s. Despite his various jobs, Cricket loved the outdoors and labored happily in the splendor of Mother Nature for thirty years of side jobs including mowing lawns and plowing snow.
Cricket was a proud and dedicated member of the Elburn Fire Department as a firefighter and EMT for fifteen years.
If you even heard of Cricket, you knew #17 was a part of his DNA and was always his number of choice. For over forty years of baseball and softball, from high school to later years alongside his son Matt, #17 served him well and was incorporated into anything and everything, even into the date of his memorial service. Very few things topped the Chicago Cubs winning it all and bringing home a World Series Trophy, but the highlight of Cricketâ€™ life was his family. When the kids were young, the family would camp every summer with other fire department families in Amboy, IL. They also enjoyed traveling to Traverse City, Michigan and to Apple Canyon River Valley in Galena, IL, to make some more memories with the Fitzmaurice family. No matter where the destination, Cricket and Cathy travels inevitably would include different aquariums, zoos and of course countless baseball games (even when it didnâ€™t involve his beloved Cubbies), but one of his favorite memories was a pilgrimage to spring training to see the “boyâ€™s in blue”. If you didnâ€™t find Cricket at HD Rockerâ€™s, you could find him at Bootleggerâ€™s playing the Golden Tee video golf game with Tony or with JT cruising for chicks on Cubbie or bowling at St. Charles Bowl.
He now leaves his loving wife Cathy; two children: Matt Lay and Andrea Lay; his mother Gloretta Lay; his sister Margaret (Dennis) Wogen; mother and father-in-law, James and Mildred Diehl; an extended family of nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, other in-laws and a diverse family of long-time friends made over the years. We would be remiss if we didnâ€™t include the “four-legged” family members, Beau, a Shih Tzu- Poodle and Pepper, a Blue Heeler, not to mention his “four-wheeled buddy”, a golf cart named “Cubbie”.
He now joins his father, Christopher Lay, brother and sister-in-law, Larry and Ursula Lay and is reunited with his daughter Patricia Jean Lay who was placed in Godâ€™s care too soon after she was born in 1984.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Monday, July 17th, at the Maple Park American Legion, 203 Main St., Maple Park, IL, with a remembrance service to begin at 6 p.m., when Cricket will be honored with music and memories. Please bring some memories to share, if not at the service, then through the written word using the many “Conley Memory Catchers” that will be available. Private family cremation burial will follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in his memory directly to St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital at 501 St Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105. Memories and tributes may be left at the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page and www.conleycare.com where you can also read his full life story. All services were handled with uncommon care by Conley Funeral Home, Elburn.
A remembrance service will begin at 6 p.m., when Cricket will be honored with music and memories.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Monday, July 17th, at the Maple Park American Legion, 203 Main St., Maple Park, IL.