Jack Clay was born on August 3, 1922 in Durant to Arthur and Nora Clay. He passed from this life September 21, 2011 in Talihina at the age of 89. Jack came to Sobol around the age of 14 to work as a ranch hand where he met and fell in love with Ann Noel. He and Ann were married for 58 years until her passing. In 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army and served during World War II in the European Theater. He fought with the 10th Armored Division as a Tech 4 at the Battle of the Bulge. His decorations and citations included the World War II Victory Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Ribbon, EMAE Theater Ribbon, Three Bronze Service Stars, and Meritorious Unit Award 10th Armored Division. He was honorably discharged in January 1946. Jack had a great appreciation for music. He was often singing, playing the guitar and fiddle, or just whistling an intricate melody. He had the privilege of playing the fiddle for successful entertainers such as Freddie Hart, Dottie West, and Tommy Collins. Jack would often receive requests to be the “Caller” and called at the State and National Square Dancing Conventions. For many years he was a very successful car salesman, winning awards for Top Salesman of the Southwest Region. He spent several years training and showing his registered American Paint Horses and had the National Champion Paint Filly in 1968. Around the age of 60, Jack began logging and running a sawmill and continued operating the sawmill for the next 22 years, which provided the grandkids a good job. Jack was extremely generous. He loved giving people things. He was an excellent communicator and had an extraordinary vocabulary. There wasn’t a word he couldn’t spell and a math calculation he couldn’t solve. He had a memory that would astonish anyone asking “when” something happened or if he was asked to sing a song he had only heard once. Jack was preceded in death by his wife: Ann (Noel) Clay; granddaughter: Tamee Ann Brown; parents: Arthur & Nora Clay; two brothers: Ted Clay and Elmer Clay; four sisters: Helen Embree, Lois Ashford, Grace Meredith, and Lucille Rush. He is survived by his son: Howard Clay of Sobol; daughter: Donna (Clay) Brown of Antlers; four grandchildren: Donnie Brown, Valerie (Clay) Merida, Wade Brown, and Dan Clay; a brother: Billy Clay of Antlers; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as many other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at the First Assembly of God with Reverend Andy Reed officiating. Musical selections included Leon Gee’s “Gospel Medley.” Pallbearers included: D.V. Belk, Charley Cooper, Tink Grimmett, Bill Hedge, Al House and Larry House. Honorary pallbearers were Doyle Baldwin, Thedrell Cooper, Raymond Persinger, Pete Puckett, Leo Smallwood and Mike Wood. Interment followed at the Oddfellows Cemetery in Antlers. Family and friends may send online condolences at www.millscoffey.com .
Funeral services conducted by Mills & Coffey Funeral Home in Antlers