Family and friends may visit after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 20th at Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services. Funeral Services in Mr. Clay's honor will be held on Friday, December 21st at 11:00 a.m. at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
The Life of William C. Clay
In the small far east Texas town of Hemphill William C. Clay was born to Ophelia Buckley-Clay & William Clay on June 25, 1935. William affectionately known as "Bill" was the oldest of three children, two brothers, Roy and Bennie Clay and one sister, Pearl Clay-Glover.
Bill started work at nine years of age washing dishes at night with his mother in Port Arthur TX. As a young boy, when school was out during the summer, Bill traveled from Port Arthur, TX to Hemphill, TX to chop cotton, cut wood for the cast iron stoves, churn milk, and wash dishes. Bill was no stranger to hard work. His work ethic and accolades from this dedicated work ethic continued into adulthood.
In 1955 Bill graduated from Lincoln High School and shortly after he entered the United States Navy. During a visit home from the Navy, Pearline Ward captured Bill's heart and after a short courtship they fell in love and married. Through this union Bill relocated to California where he and Pearline were blessed with three beautiful daughters Pamela Ray Clay, Minister Vanessa Clay-Fines and Geneva Delores Clay. Bill loved his daughters……. they were (and still are) the apple of his eye.
Bill was a strong man of faith who had a deep personal relationship with God. He joined Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in 1985, and there he would take Bible study every Wednesday night with Rev. Herbert Guice. Bill also loved sharing the word of God, so he offered his services to the church as the lead of their tape recording ministry.
In 1983 Bill attend Contra Costa Community College where he took classes and later became a certified vocational nurse.
Bill was employed with Alta Bates hospital as a Surgical Aide in the operating room and Patient Care Assistant in Alta Bates Medical Surgery unit where he retired after 25 years of dedicated service.
Even after his retirement, Bill’s love of the medical profession and caring for people never waned. He went back to vocational school and became a certified traveling Paramedical Examiner and Home Health Care Giver. Even in these roles, Bill’s accolades continued citing his unprecedented professionalism, his caring and gentle nature, his consideration of others and his ‘gentleman’ spirit.
In 2004, Bill was personally selected by Rev. Herbert Guice as his primary care giver until his passing. Nurturing and caring for people young and old was Bill's special gift. He had an amazing way of easing the anxiety and frustration away from people in vulnerable times of their life.
Bill was not shy about his love for good country soul music. He loved to make his friends and family laugh, and he could throw down in the kitchen on some of our most beloved southern style soul food.
William C. Clay was preceded in death by his birth parents and two brothers, Roy and Benny Clay. He leaves to cherish his memories: His sister Pearl, Three daughters, Pamela, Vanessa, and Geneva, seven grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren.