Broken Pipe: Jay Jones, Hermit Tobacco

It is with deep sadness, shock, and regret that we bring you the news of the untimely passing of Jay Jones of Hermit Tobacco. We received second-hand word over night, and have been waiting for confirmation and details until now. We have confirmation from different industry sources that he has indeed passed, but we do not have other details, such as the official cause of death and his age. Suffice it to say that he appeared at least two to three decades away from old age.

Jay passed on the morning of November 16, 2011. We have been told that he finished his morning chores, and then told Louise that he felt tired and was going to take a nap. He never woke-up. Speculation is a stroke or heart-attack, but is not official.

Jay was known and loved by many in the pipe community. You could see him and Louise at almost all of the pipe shows, and it seems fitting to describe the man as a loveable guy. He was the creator of the Hermit line of tobaccos and was also an avid Dunhill pipe collector, amongst other areas of collecting.

We send our deepest condolences to his partner in business and in life, Louise, and to the rest of his family and friends.

More information on Hermit Tobacco, Jay’s collecting and other interests can be found at


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26 Responses

  • That is incredibly sad news. They were a pleasure to order tobacco from. My thoughts are with his family & friends.

  • My deepest sympathies to Louise and the family. Jay was always a gentleman to me and all he came in contact with. I will always remember him that way and he will live forever in his great spirit.
    Mike Beltranena
    NYC Pipe Club

  • So sad to hear about the passing of Jay Jones. It was a pleasure to have done buisness with Jay. My condolences to His Family and Friends.

  • Thank you for this article and for your website on the whole. I’ve just subscribed to your news feed.

  • May Jay’s family be blessed real good with strength to carry on with peace love and happiness through the best of health.


  • I met Jay at the latest Chicago show. I had a great time sharing drinks and tobacco with him and Louise in their room. It is very sad to know he’s no longer with us.
    Be strong, Louise.

  • The GKCPC is terribly saddened by this news. We hope to get some information about expressing our deep condolences to Louise, the family, and friends. He was just at our show in June.
    Dan C., Treasurer

  • Saddened to hear of the loss of someone so close to the pipe community. My thoughts and prayers go out to Louise. God Bless.

  • I am saddened to hear this news – I ordered from Hermit tobaccos many a time – I especially loved Jay’s Holiday Blend he came out with every Fall. My heartfelt condolences.

  • The entire TAPS pipe club sends their condolences to Louise. Jay was a very big part of our hobby and will be misseds by all. RIP Jay.

  • Tonight I’ll open a new tin of Captain Earle and smoke it in the Charatan Canadian I bought from Jay at St. Louis. RIP my friend. Hans

  • I am heartbroken. Jay was such a good friend to me and my family. I met Jay and Louise at the Charlotte show in 1996 I think. It was my first pipe show. We all chatted for quite some time. I was a young and enthusiastic collector and purchased a WW2 service issue pipe kit from them. When I got home it was missing something and I called them and we chatted some more and they sent me the missing piece. At this time I had started a hobby business online, it was a used pipe web site called, with one small estate collection I had purchased. But I was running out of pipes. Louise and Jay and I had hit it off so well that almost overnight we were in business together. I think our site was about the second or third one online in the business at that time. Jay and Louise’s knowledge, energy and guidance grew the business exponentially overnight. It was one of the best things to happen for my young family as it allowed my wife to stay home with our toddler instead of working. I can never thank Jay and Louise enough for that. Jay and Louise taught me so much about pipes and business and life, they were a surrogate big brother and big sister to me. For such a big and burly guy Jay was in reality a gentle and generous man. We operated and grew the business together for a few years. It was so much fun, doing what you love with people you love.
    Eventually my day-job became successful and I had to consider leaving our web business. We all talked about how to do it and slowly transitioned it. It was hard to say goodbye to something so fun. But soon Jay came to be just about as geeky as me with computers. He and Louise took their site Pipestyle to new heights.
    As often happens when you live 3 or 4 states away, contact between friends becomes more sporadic. Yet my affection for Jay and Louise remains as strong today as when we were speaking on the phone every night in those halcyon days of our young pipe business. I am comforted by the fact that Jay was blessed to have Louise as his soul mate and partner in all aspects of his life. His days were too short, but the way he lived those days is an example to us all.
    Rob Davis

  • Wonderful person. Great, dry, sense of humor.
    Met him at the St. Louis Pipe Show and am glad to have been able to make his acquaintance.
    The world is a lesser place for his passing.

  • Having experienced they untimely passing of my brother this year, my heart truly goes out to Louise. Although I did not know Jay well, he was always friendly to me and I looked forward to seeing him at a show. There is no easy way to get through such a sorrowful event, but time is a patient healer. I wish peace, comfort, and strength for Louise. Rest in peace, Jay.

  • I was searching for Jay and Louise address to send then a Christmas card when I came upon this. We are so saddened. Jay was a delight to be around. He was always smiling and was an overall great guy. Louise if you read this please know we are thinking of you. We will miss Jay.