Calvin S. Clay, Sr. passed away Wednesday March 16, 2016 in Stilwell at the age of 89 years, six months. Calvin, the son of Ira and Effie (Barton) Clay, was born September 15, 1926 in Bearden, OK. He was the oldest of six children, 2 boys and 4 girls.
As a young boy, he moved to Pryor. At 16, he moved to Tulsa where he tried to join the service to help with the war effort, however, his dad would not sign the papers. At 17 he met Jane Edwards and stayed with her family until his 18th birthday when he enlisted in the United States Navy.
After completing basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, he volunteered for hazardous duty with the newly formed Naval Combat Demolition Unit. He completed underwater demolition school at Fort Pierce Florida and became a navy "frogman" serving with the Underwater Demolition Teams. He was assigned to a heavy cruiser, the USS Canberra CA70.
After the conclusion of World War II, he returned to Oklahoma and married the love his life Jane on July 31st 1946. Calvin went to work for American Optical Co. in Tulsa, and in 1949 the family, now including a young son Sam, moved to Harlingen, Texas. After 7 ½ years in Texas, they returned to Oklahoma to stay. In 1962, a second son, James was born.
The next year Calvin became the Civil Defense Director for the City of Broken Arrow. Subsequently he was appointed as Area Director for Northeastern Oklahoma and also to the National Civil Defense Council. He stayed active in Emergency Management and served as County Director for Adair County until he retired in 2013. In 1974 he founded Jesus Outreach International serving as Chairman of the Board and Senior Pastor for the remainder of his life.
He was preceded by his parents Ira and Effie Clay; brother Carl Clay, sisters Geraldine Terry and Jeannie Brewer. Survivors include his wife Jane of the home; sons Sam Clay and wife Joan of Stilwell, James Clay and wife Shelly of Bunch; grandchildren Cindy Turner, Teresa Roberts, Sarah Clay, Katie Clay, Jamie Wood and Rodney Pischel; seven great-grandchildren, siblings Joyce Ramey and Corky Verbryke and numerous family and friends.