Clay was born on March 21, 1927 in Speedwell, Powell Valley, Tennessee, the son of Lloyd Hall and Marjorie Brewer Hall. He married Audrey Singleton Hall (deceased) on May 22, 1949. He is survived by four children: Michael W. Hall (Deborah) of Milan, IN; Gary L. Hall of Milan, IN; Carol Jackson of Milan, IN; Luwanda Hall-Lykens (Gary) of Greenfield, IN; 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Clay was preceded in death by: his wife, Audrey; sister, Blanche (Hall) Lawson; brothers, Thurman Lee Hall and Robert Hall; daughter-in-law, Judy (Elliott) Hall and son-in-law, Hubert Benjamin Jackson III.
Clay was a hardworking, accomplished man. At 15, he went to work for the Blue Diamond Coal Company in the coal mines. He enlisted in the Navy at age 16 and was deployed in World War II on the USS Mt. Baker (AE -4) munitions ship in the Pacific Theater. At the age of 17, he and Don Willis (Indian Rocks Beach, FL) met when they were assigned the responsibility of the ship store and charged with running finances for the ship. Clay worked to receive his GED while serving during the war.
Clay and his buddy, Don were the last two survivors of a crew of 300+ sailors who served with them on the Mt. Baker. They kept in touch and were still friends after 71 years.
After WWII Clay was rehired by the Blue Diamond Coal Company and trained as a surveying engineer. In 1950 he moved his family to Milan, Indiana to farm full time while working in various factories. In 1965 he began working at Cummins Engine Company as a machinist on the factory line. He rose through the ranks to become a manufacturing engineer for Cummins until he retired in 1985. Clay continued to farm until the age of 82.
Clay was an active member of the Ripley County and Milan communities. He played an active role in the establishing the Southeastern Indiana Vocational School in Versailles and served several terms on the Milan Community school board. He was active in county politics and serve on the Ripley county election board. Clay was a thirty-second degree Mason and a 50 year member of Masonic Lodge 31 in Milan. He was also an active member of VFW Post 6234 and the American Legion in Milan.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 9, at Hope Baptist Church in Dillsboro, IN at 1:00 PM. A time for visiting and reminiscing with family and friends will be held from 12:00 to 1:00 PM before the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made to the Milan VFW Scholarship Fund for high school seniors, a favorite of Clay’s projects at the VFW. Checks can be made out to: Milan VFW Scholarship Fund, PO Box 117, Milan, IN 47031