Official Obituary of

Makoto "Jay" Nagai

March 8, 1954 ~ March 16, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old

Makoto Nagai Obituary

Makoto "Jay" Nagai of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania died 16 March 2024 at the age of 70 after an 18 year battle with cancer. Jay was born on 08 March 1954 to Masao and Yachiyo Inoue Nagai in the city of Himeji, Japan. Jay would not stay in Himeji long however, as he loved to travel and wanted to see the world. Soon after graduating valedictorian of his high school, he began studying film making and music at the University of Tokyo. His need to travel and explore did not stop after university, as he quickly found himself in San Diego, California where he continued his training as a master sushi chef. For decades, Jay perfected his craft, owning numerous restaurants including Yachiyo Japanese Restaurant in Gainesville Florida, serving celebrities, athletes, musicians and everyone in between. Jay ultimately fell in love with Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and opened two restaurants, The Dancing Fish and The Other Fish. Whether it was a birthday, anniversary, first date or holiday, if you wanted to celebrate a special occasion, you came to Jay. Jay never took a day off from work. Even when diagnosed with cancer, he hid it from his family for months because he did not want to burden them, that was simply the kind of person Jay was. Throughout his life, Jay was a quiet creative, who was always fashionable, funny and looking for ways to take care of others. Jay was a voracious reader, watch connoisseur and an avid baseball fan. In the summer you would find him laying in the sun with a book or complaining about the Mets. Jay died on his own terms, as anyone who knew Jay would assume he would, listening to a baseball game, surrounded by family in his home. Jay was a devoted father to Madison-Maya ,and London-Yuki as well as his bonus
children, Alicia, Cricket and Zoe. Later on in life, his entire world revolved around his beautiful grand daughter, Hiromi. Jay was predeceased by his parents, his brother Yoshiyuki Nagai and his beloved Aunt Michiko.

Survivors: Jay is survived by his children Madison-Maya and her daughter Hiromi, London-Yuki and his wife Leora, Alicia, Cricket, Zoe and their spouses and children, his sister in law Chiaki Nagai, nieces, nephews and cousin Hitoshi Inoue in Japan,the countless people he brought joy to through his artistry, his baseball bestie Kasey Olthoff and his best friends Lucy and Hector.

Services: A celebration of Life will be held at 3:00 PM on Monday March 25, 2024 at Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, 500 Linden St. Bethlehem, PA 18018, where family and friends may call from 1PM until the time of the service. A memory tribute may be placed at www.cantelmifuneralhome.com.

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jay's name to the charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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Calling Hours
March 25, 2024

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cantelmi Long Funeral Home
500 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA

Celebration of Life Service
March 25, 2024

3:00 PM
Cantelmi Long Funeral Home
500 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA


Charity of your choice


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