In Memory

Robert R 'Bob' Clay - Class Of 1956

Robert R 'Bob' Clay

Robert Richardson Clay, 72, of Beaverton, Oregon, passed away Saturday, May 29, 2010, while on vacation with family in France.  Dad, known as "Bob" to his friends was born September 13, 1937, in Evanston, Illinois, the second child of Irvin and Kathryn Clay. 

He moved to Southern California as a child and grew up in Pasadena, graduating from South Pasadena High School.  He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and was a starting center on the freshman football team.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1958 and retired with the rank of major in 1978.  Dad served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Army Special Forces and two additional tours with the Army Security Agency.  Dad's military career and the Army's culture strongly influenced his values and beliefs and reinforced his patriotism and sense of duty.

He married Judith L. Middlesteadt in 1966 and together they had three children:  Christopher, Matthew, and Jennifer.  After retiring from the military, he moved his family to Portland and began a second career as a human resources professional in the high tech industry.  He retired for good in 2003 and turned his attention to traveling the world and seeing all those places and sights that he had always wanted to visit.  He was able to travel to China, South America, Russia, Europe, Alaska, and Canada during those trips and had some truly memorable experiences.  We are so gratified that Dad had a chance to enjoy his retirement before he passed away.

Dad was an ardent supporter and cheerleader for his kids in their academic and athletic activities and would never miss a sporting event in which they participated.  Dad was a big sports fan and rooted for the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and the UC Berkeley Golden Bears.  He sorely mourned the day that the NFL Rams left Los Angeles.

He enjoyed collecting cut glass crystal and visiting antique shops and looked forward to spending time with his family including his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and JoAnn Roscher of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Bob is survived by his children, Christopher (Cynthia), Matthew, and Jennifer (Matt) Turpen; and by his older sister, Ruth.  His grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Oregon, Arizona, and Idaho also survive him as well as numerous other relatives and friends across the U.S.  He was preceded in death by his father, Irvin Harris Clay; and mother Kathryn Lucille Clay.

The Oregonian, June 13, 2010



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03/26/13 10:08 AM #1    

Tom Bauer (1956)

I was friends with Bob from junior high through high school. my last and only meeting with him occurred while I was in the service.  Al Culver and I were in the same batallion at Ft. Devens Massachussetts.  We had been extended for the Berlin crisis but the army didn't know what to do with us. All we did was hang around the barracks all day reading, gambling, swapping stories. We were rebellious and poor excuses for soldiers.  One day Al came to my barracks to tell me to come with him to meet an old friend.  There in front of a band of rag tag soldiers, grungy at best, was Lt. Robert Clay, spit and polish from head to foot, his shoes and brass so shiny you could almost see your face in it. Most officers would have chastised us all for being so slovenly.  Not Bob.  He greeted us as old friends and a couple of privates as equals. He was in Ft. Devens briefly before being shipped overseas. He was simply our old friend experiencing a reunion.

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