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Friday, May 27, 2016


COOK, Yvonne Clay, a native of Norfolk, Va., transitioned from this life after a fatal single car accident in Richmond Va., where she made her home. She was 69 years old. Born on June 20, 1943, she was the first child of Haywood Augustus "Jake" Clay and Eunice Bailey Clay. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1961, she attended Hampton Institute, earning a bachelor's of science degree in business in 1965. Yvonne approached life as an adventure and a celebration. After leaving Norfolk, she lived in Woodstock, N.Y., Boston, Mass., Los Angeles, Calif., and Memphis, Tenn. She was an early pioneer in computer programming and data management working for companies such as IBM, Honeywell, Polaroid, Kodak, Hughes Aircraft and Federal Express. She retired to Richmond in 2004. Yvonne was an accomplished landscape and still-life painter. She was a talented pianist, voracious reader and cherished advisor to family and friends. She taught art to children, volunteered with rescue horses and was a serious dog lover. In February 2013, she published her first book, "The Metamorphosis of An Authentic Spirit," fulfilling a lifelong ambition. She is survived by her sister, Patricia Clay Shirley; and brother-in-law, Edwin S. Shirley, both of Farmington, Conn.; two nieces, Erica Lorraine Shirley of Washington, D.C., and Yvonne Michelle Shirley of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and a host of cousins, loved ones and close friends. A memorial service will be held on June 7, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Unity Church, 800 Blanton Ave., Richmond, Va. Riddick Funeral Service is handling the services. Words of comfort can be expressed at

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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Published online on 6/5/2013 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.