September 9, 1924 - October 2, 2020
Beloit, WI- George J. Clay, Jr., 96, of Beloit, WI, died on Friday, October 2, 2020 in the VA Hospital, Madison, WI.
He was born on September 9, 1924 in Battle Creek, MI, the son of George, Sr. and Lillian (Walters) Clay. George had one sister who predeceased him, Patricia (Clay) Berry. George was a 1942 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School. He enlisted in the Army of the United States Reserve and remained in the service for nine years. George was called to active duty in March of 1943. He served as a corporal in the 881st Field Artillery Battalion with the 69th Infantry Division in France, Belgium, and Germany during WWII. Later he served as a 2nd Lieutenant with a training cadre at Fort McCoy during the Korean War.
He married Mary K. Hunsinger on March 25, 1950 in the First Congregational Church of Battle Creek. She predeceased him on June 11, 2013. George graduated from Michigan Tech in Houghton, MI, in 1950 with a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Later that year the couple moved to Beloit, WI, where George started work at the Beloit Iron Works. Mary and George have three sons and one daughter. They are Larry Clay of Green Bay, Roger Clay of Bloomington, MN, Steve Clay of Grand Rapids, MI, and Carolyn Clay Pineda of Norway, MI, and there are seven grandchildren. The family loved camping in the North Woods and still meet for an annual reunion at Sylvania Wilderness in northern Michigan.
George volunteered for many youth activities at the YMCA. He served on the Youth Committee for five years, and was a member of the Parents' Committees for the YMCA Boys' Choir, the Indian Guides, and the Swim Team. He served as president of the Beloit Aquatic Team (BAT) for one year. George served as Boy Scout Committeeman and Scout Master of Troop 362 for many years. George belonged to the International Toastmasters Club and served as its Education VP, and as editor of their newsletter. He served on the Society for Learning, Unlimited (SLU) steering committee at Beloit College and taught the Western Stories class for many years.
He worked at the Beloit Corporation for 43 years as a paper machine engineer. He specialized in dry-end equipment and temperature control equipment. He was involved in the start-up of many new paper machines as well as troubleshooting and maintenance of older machines. His wife, Mary accompanied him on many paper mill trips including trips to Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, and Canada. George belonged to various Congregational churches and served as head usher, President of the Men's Club, and Chairman of Trustees. He was currently a member of the United Church of Beloit where he served on the Finance and Facilities Board.
Visitation of remembrance will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday October 8th in the Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Rd., Beloit, WI. Private family services will be held. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery with military honors accorded by the V.F.W. Mead Allen Post #2306. Social distancing and face mask are required.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his name to the United Church of Beloit.