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Robert Morris Clay

1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert Morris Clay Obituary
Robert Morris Clay

September 13, 1935 – April 10, 2018


Robert M. "Bobby" Clay, 82, of Raleigh, NC passed away on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

He was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada and returned to North Carolina shortly thereafter.

He was married for 61 years to Marie McGee Clay, his high school sweetheart, who survives him. They were married at Temple Baptist Church by Rev. "Bones" McKinney.

They have two children: Melissa (Missy) Clay and Robert (Rob) M. Clay.

Missy has one son, (grandson), William Zachary "Zack" Keith who is married to Jackie Elizabeth Keith and they have two children, Mackenzie Ann Keith and Brentley Morris Keith.

He was predeceased by his parents Robert M. Clay, Sr. and Beatrice Caviness Clay Morton. His father died when he was 6 years old and was raised at his mother's family home in the Piney Grove Community in southern Wake County.

There were 13 children in his mother's family and the Caviness family whom provided him love, support, care, teaching and guidance in his early life which served him well.

He attended Raleigh public schools, including Hugh Morson High where he was active in band, mixed chorus, sports, debating team and president of the graduating class of 1954. He was Mayor of Raleigh on Student Government Day, and an Eagle Scout. His classmates and other friends from high school remained among his most loyal and devoted friends for his life.

He graduated from UNC – Chapel Hill undergraduate and law school. While at Carolina, he was a member of the Fencing Team and competed with the Epee in NCAA championships in 1957. He was a member of the 30th Division Band of the NC National Guard as a trumpet player for 8 years and played with local dance band, "The Continentals".

Following graduation, he joined the firm, Teague, Johnson and Patterson in Raleigh which evolved into Patterson, Dilthey, Clay and practiced civil trial law. He then joined the firm of Young, Moore and Henderson until his retirement in 2016.

He was regarded as an outstanding civil trial lawyer. He came to specialize in the defense of Medical Malpractice cases over the years and defended most hospitals and medical specialties in eastern North Carolina.

He was included in the book "Best lawyers in America" for more than 30 years and was active in the NC Bar Association.

He was particularly proud of the accomplishments of the young lawyers whom he mentored and nourished, and who have become very fine lawyers in their own rights.

Bob loved fishing and boating at Lake Gaston and Atlantic Beach.

Services will be held at Longview Baptist Church on Tuesday, April 17 at 2PM. There will be a visitation with the family at the Church from 1PM to 2PM.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to Longview Baptist Church, 2308 New Hope Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604 or the .

The family would like to thank the Rex Hospital and Duke Medical ICU teams for their excellent care and support.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.bryan-leefuneralhome.com
Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 15, 2018
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