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