James Robert Oplas, Jr. (Jay), son of the late James Robert Oplas, Sr.,
and Caroline Oplas Lewis of Lexington, KY, passed away May 31, 2021, in Lexington with his
loving wife at his side after a valiant three-year struggle with mucosal melanoma.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Terry Oplas; mother, Caroline Oplas
Lewis; brother, Andrew Oplas; step-children, Jimi Owens and Jordan (Sean)
Johnson; granddaughter, Juniper Johnson, and faithful canine companion,
A lifelong resident of Lexington, Jay was a graduate of Tates Creek
High School and the University of Kentucky. He was an adoring husband, widely admired baseball coach,
stalwart Wildcats fan, all around sports aficionado, and lover of travel, food, and ‘70s music.
Blessed with a competitive spirit, a cheeky and often mischievous wit,
Jay was a force on the golf course, baseball diamond, karaoke lounges, and at the workplace.
While at Tates Creek, Jay was first chair trumpeter and soloist in high
school. He played baseball, basketball, and football. Jay went on to coach
Little League and Babe Ruth baseball competitively for several years, helping
to mentor and cultivate young players who went on to compete in college and in
Major League Baseball, also taking teams to championships and all-star national
competitions out of state. His approach to coaching was intense and analytical,
and Jay’s short fuse during baseball games was legendary, with the occasional
cloud of sand and dirt kicked up after a controversial call. That nearly always
blew over quickly, and all smiles returned along with
preparation for the next game or tournament. He also umpired and
refereed in later years.
Jay specialized in accounting during his career, most recently at
Kentucky Steel in Berea, Kentucky, a subsidiary of a large Japanese steel conglomerate. He
developed professional and personal relationships on many levels and with the
Japanese community in Lexington.
Jay shared his happiest moments with his soulmate and devoted wife
Terry. They celebrated their 10th anniversary in April.
Faced with the formidable diagnosis of mucosal melanoma (a rare form of
melanoma), Jay approached his battles with openness and transparency, but a
steely determination to fight. He continued to travel and hit the golf course,
even as he embraced friends and family to the end.
Jay’s family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the doctors and
health care professionals at the University of Kentucky Medical Center for their professionalism and
unparalleled care and support.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it
is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking…Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.”
— 1 Corinthians 13:1
“We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings
about perseverance; and perseverance brings about proven character, and proven character brings
— 5 Romans 3-4
Visitation will be held Friday, June 4th from 4:00-7:00pm, at Milward -
Man O’War located at 1509 Trent Blvd., Lexington with memorial service to follow at
7:00pm, officiated by Jay Fulton, Chaplain at University of Kentucky Medical Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Jay’s name to:
Camp Jean Dog Rescue, Lawrenceburg Rd., Frankfort, KY, 40601, donations via PayPal to: email@example.com.
To share a remembrance of Jay or offer condolences to his family,
please sign the online guestbook below at milwardfuneral.com.