Michael Lake "Mickey" Clair, 60, of Flaherty, passed away Jan. 15, 2014, at University Hospital in Lousiville, surrounded by family.
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He was a veteran of the U.S. Army who loved to hunt, fish and tell jokes, most of which were not suitable for print in a newspaper.
Hellen Griffith was his JROTC company queen, and he proposed to her at his company's military ball. They married six months out of school and were together the rest of his life, 42 years.
Mickey collected a basement full of records, 8-tracks and reel-to-reel recordings from a diverse selection of artists, including The Beatles, Joe Cocker, The Country Gentlemen and Cheech and Chong. His most prized possession was a 1971 Buick Gran Sport that accompanied him throughout his military career.
A big advocate for organ donation, he received two kidney transplants after being diagnosed with kidney disease in 1983. Receiving those transplants, he thought, was like winning the lottery twice.
He spent his life giving to causes he believed in. He enlisted in the Army in 1973 and retired in 1990 as a chief warrant officer 2. During his career he was stationed at Fort Knox, in Aberdeen, Md.; Pirmasens, Germany, Fort Hood, Texas, and Vilseck, Germany. He also worked civil service at Naval Ordnance in Louisville and at Pool Hall TDS at Fort Knox.
He was active in the U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association, Camp Knox Lodge 919, Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS.
He was a generous volunteer, coaching, refereeing and umpiring for many youth sports, assisting veterans through USA Cares, and helping to do taxes at United Methodist Church.
He tried to set an example of self-reliance, responsibility and generosity for his children.
He was preceded in death by his father, George F. Clair.
He is survived by his wife, Hellen (Griffith) Clair; a daughter, Michelle (Anthony) Howard of Hattiesburg, Miss.; a son, Mike (Cami) Clair of Auburndale, Fla.; his mother, Betty Clair of Sandy Hook; three brothers, Kenny, Rick and Arthur Clair, all of Ashland; a sister, Leanell (Clair) Vasvary of Palmetto, Fla.; and six grandchildren, Katie, Madison and Grace Howard, and Liam, Julian and Rory Clair.
The funeral is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, in the chapel of Hager Funeral Home with Rev. Dan Paddack officiating. Burial with military honors follows in Cap Anderson Cemetery in Brandenburg.
Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home where Masonic Funeral Rites will be held at 7 at 7 p.m.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to The PKD Foundation, P.O. Box 871847, Kansas City, MO 64187-1847.
Hager Funeral Home
633 Bland Street Brandenburg, KY 40108
Published in The News-Enterprise on Jan. 19, 2014