Clay, Esther

Esther M. Clay

Esther M. Clay, age 92 of Galesburg, Illinois formerly of Altona, Illinois died at 1:35 P.M. on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at her home in Galesburg, Illinois.         

She was born on August 21, 1927 in Galesburg, Illinois the daughter of Paul A. and Mabel V. (Johnson) Anderson. She graduated from the Altona High School in 1944, then attended the former Brown’s Business College in Galesburg, Illinois. She married Russell Clay on March 23, 1947 at the United Methodist Church in Altona, Illinois. He preceded her in death on November 6, 1996.

Surviving are her children: Benjamin Paul (and Barbara Jan) Clay of Durand, Illinois, Bradley Madison Clay of Fort Myers, Florida, and Brenda Marie (and David) Bartz of Cambridge, Wisconsin; seven grandchildren: Stephen (and Roxanne) Clay of Cape Coral, Florida, Julia (and Larry) Jefferson of Dallas, Texas, Kelly (and Bill) Larkin of Galesburg, Illinois, Jennifer (and Wes) Brandenburg of Oneida, Illinois, Luke (and Kara) Gibbs of Knoxville, Illinois, Danielle (and Benjie) Bartz-Erk of London, Wisconsin, and Devin (and Abby) Bartz of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; thirteen great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Ilene Hopkins of Galesburg, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, infant sister, Ruby Lillian Anderson, one sister, Mildred Pauline Lindblad, brother-in-law’s and sister-in-law’s from her husband’s family.

She worked at the former Gale Products in Galesburg, clerical in a photography business, Churchhill Chemical, and Carl Sandburg College Library. She was a member of the United church in Oneida, Illinois, volunteered at the Ransom Memorial Public Library in Altona, Illinois, where she helped many children with their reading, tutoring at the Altona Grade School and Library, Knox County Election Judge, and the former War Mothers Club. She enjoyed sewing, helping others, visiting nursing homes, watching baseball, and gardening. She loved attending her children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s sporting events, and school activities. She loved her card playing and tile rummy at least weekly. In her later years, she enjoyed her relaxing days drinking a pepsi and reading her newspaper.  She will be mostly remembered for her funny sense of humor and her great laughs.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 Noon with Funeral Services at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at the Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Homes & Crematory in Oneida, Illinois.  Rev. David Pyell officiate. Interment will be at the Altona Cemetery, Altona, Illinois. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Ransom Memorial Public Library in Altona, Illinois.   Due to the COVID-19 restrictions social distancing and face masks will be required. Online condolences and expressions of sympathy may be made through

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