Earl Clay, of Hollister, was promoted to his heavenly home Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at St. Mary Hospital in Rhinelander. He was 75 years old. He was born on August 25, 1942, at home in Hollister, a son of Leonard and Edith (Meeks) Clay. He married Debra R. Thompson on June 28, 1986, in Alabama. She survives. Prior to his marriage to Debra Earl had been married two times and both marriages ended in divorce.
He was raised in Hollister and was a member of the last graduating class of the Hollister Grade School. As a young man he worked for Rayfield and Hannah Kielcheski, Horace O'Brian, and Johns Manville in Illinois.
Earl enlisted in the United States Army on January 12, 1961 and was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. He was discharged on December 10, 1963.
Following military service, he began a long career working for National Automatic Sprinkler Industry as a sprinkler fitter for 34 years, retiring in 1997.
He was a proud veteran and was a member and past commander of the Anderson-Sather American Legion Post #524, White Lake. While commander he was instrumental, along with many legionaries and volunteers, in placing six large wood crosses in area cemeteries. He was a member of the Langlade County Voiture 1204, 40 et 8, and the Paul Marmes Disabled American Veterans Chapter 23, Antigo.
Earl was also active with the Langlade County Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the White Lake ATV Club and Lily Snowbirds Club.
He greatly valued time spent in the woods in Hollister.
Survivors including his wife are four daughters, Trina (Rich) Trepanier, Little Suamico, Tracy Clay, Kaukauna, Tonya Hoffman, Antigo, Odessa Clay, White Lake; two sons, Travis (Kim) Clay, Menasha, Troy (Prisca) Clay, Kaukauna; a step-son, Jeff (Jennifer) Thompson, Merrill; 24 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; a sister, Alma (Herman) Albrecht, Birnamwood; a brother-in-law Larry Kainz, Weston;
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by eight sisters, Marie Marmes, Vivian Straley, Blanche Miller, Gladys Vaughn, Jean Kainz, Grace Kainz, Ella Iris, Violet Sprinkler; two brothers Richard and Franklin Clay.
The funeral services will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018, at 12 p.m. at Four Corners Assembly of God, White Lake with Rev. Marvin Kindle officiating. Burial will take place in Lily Cemetery where the White Lake Veterans will conduct military honors.
Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. Friday until the time of services at the church.
Online condolences at www.bradleyfh.com.
Debra expresses appreciation for all those who journeyed with Earl and her in the past eight months. They make a difficult time more bearable. She offers special recognition to Bonnie Keso, Pam Buettner, Karen Sellers and Pastor Kindle.
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I am so sorry... Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Lots of fun filled memories with Uncle Earl!
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Clay family. Earl is one of our greatest neighbor to have around. He will be missed . Our heart goes out to Deb.
Deb, My heart aches for you and I will be sending up prayers on your behalf. We have many fond memories of Earl during his stay in Alabama. I know that he was the love of your life and you his, so stay strong in these difficult days ahead. I love you
I’m so sorry for your loss! I won’t be able to be there on Friday . I’m sending each of you a hug and kiss! My prayers are with you for comfort and peace😘 Bobbie Jo (Henry) Lutzow
Dear Debra & Family,
Our heartfelt condolences on Earl’s passing. Our emotions overflow with fond memories of Earl, over decades and generations. His kindness to our family, most notably my parents (Ed and Fran), will forever form a smile on many faces. We will toast him often, as we relive stories and tales of Earl’s exploits around future woodland campfires.
Warm regards always.
Joe, Kathy & Max
I'm so sorry for your loss! Earl was a great man and I was honored to call him my brother in law! I will always appreciate him loving my sister and my nephew the way he did. I'm sure he will enjoy playing cards with Walker up in Heaven! RIP Earl until we meet again!
Every time I close my eyes.
I remember the last couple of times that we were at Earl Clay home we was going to 9 mile bar for lunch. The great person that Earl Clay was i walk with a cane Earl would grab my left arm and help me to my car at his house and when we would get to 9 mile bar for lunch he would be at my car door to help me into the bar I will never forget the look on his face he was very concerned. Earl Clay was a one of a kind one great Man i will Love and miss you until we meet again in Heaven.I can't say enough about about but you missed by many. R.I.P my cousin my great Friend Earl Clay.
My Mom & Dad will truly miss Earl, it was a great joy to see him at all the functions in White Lake, Antigo, Elton (bidding on the auctions) and at the Lily Snowbird Club. His smile and hugs will be missed by all. Debbie & family we are thinking of you at this difficult time. I don't know if I can get Mom and Dad to travel home for the funeral (Mom had heart surgery last month and my Dad isn't doing well at all), but we are sending our love and hugs to all. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for you all.
Del Meeks Zuelke
Debbie Zuelke Stibbs
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