Family owned & family focused since 1952

Thomas J. Clay


Thomas Joseph (Tom) Clay passed away in Chandler AZ on September 21 2016 after suffering a stroke three years ago which denied him the ability to communicate and use of his writing hand. Tom was born in Springfield IL on June 2 1934 to Thomas Elton Clay and Teresa Jean Kohlrus.  He graduated from Cathedral Catholic Boys High School in Springfield IL then served in the US Navy on the USS Pollux during the Korean Conflict.  After completing his service, he married Maria Angeles (Angie) Solis in San Francisco CA on June 30 1956 where he started his family, worked full time and attended Heald College where he became an Electrical Engineer.  Tom is predeceased by his sister Carol Ann Johnson and survived by his wife Angie Clay, brothers Edward Clay and Richard Clay, children Thomas R. Clay, Michael Clay, Annette Gillette and Michelle Clay, grandchildren Jennifer Clay, Kathryn Clay, Julie Clay, Joelle Gillette, Bryant Newman, Victoria Clay, Alexandra Clay and Thomas A. Clay, and great grandchild Joseph Thomas DeLeo.

Tom worked as an Electrical Engineer and Project Manager for the State of Illinois, Morton Salt, Bechtel Corporation and Armour Meat Company moving across the country many times finally settling in Tempe AZ in 1973.  After raising their family, Tom and Angie travelled the world where he was an accomplished Program Manager of high value, technically and politically complex international mining and transportation construction projects in Columbia, Philippines, Indonesia and the United Kingdom.  The highlight of his career was being the Program Manager completing the construction and activation of the Eurotunnel which crosses underneath the English Channel connecting France to the UK.

While Tom’s career was his passion, he was a devoted husband and family man.  He was a man who lived his faith being selfless, kind and charitable to others.  He modeled and taught his children and grandchildren an excellent work ethic, the value of education and self-reliance, and most of all doing the “right thing”.  Tom self-admittedly was “politically incorrect” and had a wicked, irreverent sense of humor even getting the toughest customer to laugh when he told the countless stories that he loved to tell.  He loved talking and being around people, especially his family.  We will miss him dearly.

Visitation will be 6-8pm Wednesday September 28, 2016 at Bueler Mortuary, 14 Hulet Drive, Chandler AZ 85225.  Funeral Mass will be 10 am Thursday September 29, 2016 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1800 E. Libra Dr, Tempe AZ 85283.  Private burial will follow at Queen of Heaven cemetery in Mesa AZ.

Cards and flowers may be sent to 9447 South Palm Drive, Tempe AZ 85284.  Tom’s favorite charity to help others was: Helping Hands of Holy Spirit, 1800 E. Libra Dr, Tempe AZ 85283, 480-838-7474




  • Eddie Johnson Posted September 28, 2016 3:48 PM

    Aunt Angie, Tommy, Michael, Annette, Michelle and Family we are all saddened by the passing of Uncle Tom. He will be missed by all his family and friends. We will keep all of you in our prayers.

    • Tom Clay Posted October 2, 2016 3:04 PM

      Hi Eddie. Thanks for thinking of us. Really appreciate everyone’s prayers. Thanks, Tom

  • Claude Fierro (Cornerstone Brother) Posted September 28, 2016 7:45 PM

    Our prayers are with you all, may God give you the strength and faith needed in this difficult time.

  • Tom Clay Posted October 2, 2016 3:05 PM

    Thank You Claude. Appreciate your prayers and good thoughts.

  • Flora & Denis – Folkestone UK. Posted October 2, 2016 3:34 PM

    He will always be remembered.

  • Mary Baksys Posted October 2, 2016 6:45 PM

    I am very sad that Tom has left us, and I will always remember the time we spent together and his hospitality when my husband and I visited him in Folkestone. He told me stories about my mom, and showed his heart. We will remember the better days, when he was free to regale family, friends and acquaintances with his stories, humor . and charm.

  • CHRIS RAVEN Posted October 3, 2016 2:43 AM

    I have so many great memories of working with Tom on the Channel Tunnel project where he was my boss, mentor and friend a very rare combination. We also worked together on two other UK based projects. Tom was incredibly generous with his time at work and at play and had a great sense of humour at both. It was an honour to meet some of the Clay family when Helen and I visited the area some years ago with our two youngest, Elizabeth and William who have expressed there sadness. We have managed to keep in touch over the years through Michelle which kept us reasonably up to date.
    Tom, The memories will always be there and I feel privileged to have been a friend, rest in peace.
    Angie, Michelle and the Clay family, Our sincere condolences.
    Kind Regards Chris and Helen

  • Patti. Adans Posted October 3, 2016 12:04 PM

    Tom and Angie were so gracious to invite us to their home when our daughter Margaret Adams attended ASU. , her freshman year, 1997. Tom’s Dad and my Dad were first cousins.

  • Marge Kohlrus Hayes Posted October 4, 2016 7:00 PM

    Tom, Michael, Annette, Michelle: & Angie: Tom was my cousin, and have not seen Tom since his mother, my aunt Theresa’s visitation. My Mom and Dad, Louis and Nellie Kohlrus were his godparents, I believe. They thought a lot of Tom. Whenever Angie & Tom visited Springfield, Angie always would come to see Aunt Nellie and Uncle Louie. Angie and Tom were kind, generous people. Wish we could have visited more. Every time we saw your folks, they invited us to come visit. Our prayers and thoughts are with all. of you Rest in peace, cousin, Tom.

  • Williams Family Posted October 5, 2016 4:56 AM

    Indeed, I am saddened to learn that you’re mourning the loss of your dear love one. However, it saddens our God even more. No doubt, you have many fond memories which will resurface from time to time. And because you do have memories, certainly shows that almighty God has memories as well. Therefore, with full confidence you can take comfort in knowing that he longs to restore perfect life to all those in his memory (Job 14:13-15; Rev 21:3, 4). Please accept my condolences at this most distressing time.

  • Yolanda de castro cabuco Posted July 21, 2017 5:25 PM

    Omg! My deepest condolence to u madme angie and your family for the loss of sir tom. If you still remember me, i’m yolly de castro-cabuco of Philphos Project in the Philippines. Our last mert up was during 1986-1987 at the Manila Mandarin Hotel, Makati where you gave us electric stove as present. I will never forget sir tom for he was really a good husband and supportive and protective boss for 5 yrs! God bless mdme angie miss u and sir tom so much.

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