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Frances Jones Clay

Mrs. Frances Jones Clay, a real beauty and true Southern lady, died Thurs., May 23, 2013 at her home.  She had struggled with Parkinson’s disease more than 13 years with grace and dignity.  She was born March 7, 1924 to Julius T. and Bunah Holland Jones in Shelby, and lived her entire life in the town of her birth.  Frances attended Shelby High School, where she played on the girls basketball team.  After graduation, she attended a business secretarial school and then joined Lily Mill, where she had a long and satisfying career, first in the secretarial pool and later as secretary to the president.  At the time of her retirement after 40 plus years, she was serving as acting controller of the company.  Her career at Lily Mill was briefly interrupted when she married a young Naval Flight Officer, George Clay, and joined him in Pensacola, Fl.  She vetoed staying for a military career after she was informed at the officer’s wife’s club that even if she was the best bridge player, she should always lose to the commander’s wife.  After WWII they returned to Shelby and she resumed her career at Lily Mill.  She supported the family while George attended Mortuary Science School.  When her husband established his own business, Clay-Barnette Funeral Home, she frequently assisted him at night at the funeral home, after finishing her secretarial job during the day.  She was an active member of the DAR and enjoyed learning her own family’s history.  A charter member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, she was active in the church, especially enjoying the Women’s Circle.  After retirement she served for several years on a nursing home inspection committee for the county.  The family would like to thank Helping Hands, and especially Pam, Charlotte, and Margaret for their many months of tender devotion.

PRECEDED: In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, George W. Clay Jr.; sisters, Annie Ray Dodd and Aileen Gamble; brother, J.T. Jones.

SURVIVED:  She is survived by her son, Dr. George W. Clay III and wife Sandra Pait of Hickory; sister-in-laws, Sally Jones, Lorraine Arey and husband Bob, all of Shelby, Lib Clay and Louise Powell of Greensboro; and many nieces and nephews survive.

SERVICES:  Saturday, 4PM, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church

VISITATION:  The family will receive friends Saturday, 2:30-3:30PM, at Clay-Barnette Funeral Home

BURIAL:   Sunset Cemetery

MEMORIALS: She would wish for any memorials to be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church., 1207 W. Dixon Blvd., Shelby, NC  28152

FUNERAL HOME:    Clay-Barnette Funeral Home of Shelby

ONLINE CONDOLENCES: www.claybarnette.com

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