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Ivis Clay

Ivis Clay

Ivis Clay, a loving and devoted husband and father, died peacefully on the evening of July 5, 2009, at Three Fountains in Medford after a warm visit from extended family, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a longtime resident of Central Point.

Mr. Clay was born Sept. 11, 1918, in Ohley, W. V.a., to James R. and Stella (McComas) Clay. His father, a railroad man, was very active in politics and Mr. Clay followed his example and enjoyed keeping a sharp eye on local public officials throughout his life. He graduated from East Bank High School in 1938 after having to miss more than a year of school because of a severe infection following an injury. Doctors and family told him they weren't sure if he would survive. After high school he spent a year truck driving. Rather than continuing that profession or going into the coal mines, Mr. Clay enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and found it very much to his liking. His service included convoy duty in the North Atlantic before and after Dec. 7, 1941. It was a period of the German U-boat menace to convoys transporting war supplies to American Allies in the North Atlantic. It was a very rough and dangerous duty because of the Germans and the severe storms that rake the region. Starting in 1943, he served aboard destroyers in the Pacific until just before WWII ended. His ship was involved in the retaking of three islands and the retaking of The Philippines. While on leave in Washington, D.C., Mr. Clay met Ruth Mueller, who was working as a secretary for the civil service. They hit it famously and were married Feb. 23, 1945, in Silver Springs, Md. They celebrated their 64th anniversary this year. In 1947-48, Mr. Clay took an around-the-world cruise while aboard another destroyer. He was stationed in Athens, Greece, from 1952-1955 and lived there with his family. His last duty station was San Diego and he retired from the Navy in 1959. The following year, the family moved to Central Point. Mr. Clay went to business school, earned an associate's degree and in 1963 was hired by Jackson County as a juvenile probation officer, supervising a caseload of delinquent boys under the age of 18. He retired from that position in 1982. Mr. Clay joined St. Peter's Lutheran Church in 1969 and remained a member until his death.

Mr. Clay loved the outdoors and relished the days spent hunting, fishing, dirt biking, hiking and camping. It didn't matter ahow bad the weather-from subzero cold on deer hunting trips in eastern Oregon, to 100-degree days spent fishing or hiking-he was always eager to enjoy nature.

Mr. Clay is survived by his wife, Ruth, of Central Point, Ore.; son, Wayne, of Modesto, Calif.; twin sister, Ivah Tackett, of St. Albans, W. Va.; brother, Delmar, of St. Albans, W.Va.; grandchildren, Megan Yarnell, of Boise, Idaho and Erin Clay, of El Dorado Hills, Calif.; and great-grandchildren, Jack and Brooke Yarnell, of Boise, Idaho. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Arthur and James; and sisters, Ruth Harper and Goldie Emerson.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Peter's Lutheran Church at 1020 East Main St., Medford, OR 97504.

Ivis Clay