Francis Edward (“Ed”) Clay, Sr., died June 27, 2017, at the age of 93, at home in the Silver Shores community of Key Largo where he lived with his dear and devoted companion, Irma Bliumfeldas.
Born October 14, 1923, in Harrellsville, North Carolina, Clay is preceded in death by his wife, Frances (“Fran”) Clay, as well as his son by first marriage, Francis Edward Clay, Jr. He is survived by his first wife, Phyllis June Patton of Vero Beach, Florida; their daughter, Sheila Clay Rinehart of Ft. Pierce, Florida, and son, Robert Lee Clay and wife Donna of Old Town, Florida. He leaves behind six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was particularly close to his nieces, Bonnie and Nancy and their families.
Clay loved the Florida Keys and he loved life on the water. Boating and fishing were favorite pastimes. Friends, family and professional associates remember him for his strong work ethic, sense of humor, and willingness to help others. He leaves in his “wake” many friends in Silver Shores and beyond.
As a young man during World War II, Clay served proudly in the U.S. Navy Seabees, the United States naval construction force, spending several years working on islands in the South Pacific.
Clay went on to work as a Cadillac salesman and had numerous businesses. His friendly and outgoing personality attracted people to him and fueled his success. In later life and well into his 80s, he was a highly active and successful real estate agent specializing in the Florida Keys. Clay is the author of two books, Black Son and Boy Guess, both historical novels of the South.
Private entombment will take place in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he will be laid to rest next to his wife, Fran.