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Langdon F. Clay

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Clay, Langdon F.

Honeoye Falls: Langdon Frothingham Clay, 89, passed away at his home surrounded by his family on November 8, 2012. Langdon was born September 19, 1923, in Philadelphia, PA, to the late Elizabeth Roberts and Robert Clay. His step-father was Henry A. Berwind, also of Philadelphia.

He graduated in 1942 from Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, Harvard University in 1949, attended the Sorbonne in Paris and received a Masters in Fine Arts from New York University in 1952. During World War II he served as an officer in the US Army, based in France. He married Ellen Farr Robinson, September 17, 1949. Together they had six children.

From 1952 to 1985 he served as Assistant Director for Education at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. He developed innovative art education outreach programs throughout western NY including a weekly television program "The Look of Art," the Creative Workshop, and the first MAG Clothesline Festival in 1956. In his retirement he continued to make art come alive for younger generations in his role as curator of the Honeoye Falls-Mendon Historical Society Museum. In 2011 he was honored for "a lifetime of prolific service to the arts and history" by the Western New York Association of Historical Agencies.

Langdon loved to travel, especially in Europe and he inspired all who traveled with him to museums, cathedrals and ancient ruins. Applying some of the arts he had studied through his professional life, he developed remarkable talents for pottery, model shipbuilding and needlepoint. He was active in sport, especially golf and squash. He lived in a 1840s country home in Honeoye Falls and dedicated his life to his children and their diverse pursuits.

He is predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Ellen Robinson Clay; daughter Sandra Clay Rowell, sister Mary Muller, and brothers Richard Clay, Robert Clay and George Clay. He is survived by his children: Daniel Clay, Michael Clay, Emily Clay, Laura Clay, and Martha Clay Sullivan; fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service for family and friends will be announced at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Langdon and Ellen Clay Endowment Fund at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14607.

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Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Nov. 18, 2012
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