James Cowser Cheney

james cheney
James Cowser Cheney

Captain James C. (Jay) Cheney SC USN(Ret) died of complications from COPD on April 20, 2022. He was the son of George P. and Charlotte C. Cheney, was born on April 13, 1943, in Sewickley, PA, and grew up in Mt. Lebanon, PA, where he graduated high school in 1961.

Jay graduated from the Naval Academy in 1965 and spent 29 years in the Navy before retiring. Following Supply School, he served in MULLANY (DD-528) and subsequent assignments were: Coastal Squadrons I and III, RVN; Navy Regional Contacting Center (NRCC), Los Angeles; Office of Director of Contracts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Logistics). He then was Assistant OIC, NRCC Naples IT, Director of Contracts for Naval Supply Center and Shipyard Bremerton WA; Supply Officer in JASON (AR-8); Director of Naval Shore Activities, COMNAVLOGPAC; Director, Navy Field Contracting System, Naval Supply Systems Command; Commanding Officer, both Naval Supply Center and then Fleet Industrial Supply Center, Jacksonville, FL and Inspector General, Naval Supply System Command.

Jay held an MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan, graduated from the College of Naval Command and Staff-Navy War College with highest distinction, and was a Certified Professional Contract Manager. His awards include three Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, a Presidential Unit Citation and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was designated a Surface Warfare Supply Officer and was proud to be the most senior Supply Corps captain at retirement.

After retiring from the Navy in 1994, Jay worked in the Office of Contract Policy, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) for 10 years, then continued to work for NRO as an independent contractor until his passing.

Jay is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Lesley, and his USNA urn engraving includes: “Husband of Lesley. Best decision I ever made.” He is survived by his children, Johanna (Joel) Anderson and Mitch (Andrea) Cheney; grandchildren, Morgan, Caelan, Jack, and Camden; Jay’s brother and sister, George Cheney III and Elizabeth McClancy, and their children, George and Keith Cheney.

Jay’s inurnment at the Naval Academy Columbarium will be announced when arrangements are determined. The online guestbook is available at www.moneyandking.com

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Memories Timeline


  1. Rest In Peace Jay. A fine officer and a good friend. Fair winds and following seas up there. Condolences to Lesley and family. Nick Schmitt

  2. Lee and I have wonderful memories of Jay. Our sincerest condolences to Lesley and her family. Bill Zuna , USNA ’65

  3. Our most sincere condolences, He was a Superb NRCC Naples 🙂 and a role model. Best love to Lesley and the entire family. Regret we will not be able to be in Annapolis, John and Pat Bradshaw Scudi

  4. Our deepest condolences to the Cheney clan. Jay was a friend, shipmates, PIGOUT team mate, and mentor. He will be forever missed. Kevin R. Carman

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