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Clay, Robert "Bob"

November 18, 1933


May 05, 2023

Date of Service: May 18, 2023

It is with deep sadness that the family of ROBERT GERALD CLAY (BOB), announce that he passed away peacefully on May 5, 2023 at the Chinook Regional Hospital in his home town of Lethbridge, Alberta. Bob will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by all who had the good fortune to know him. 

Live-Stream Link: 

Bob was born November 18, 1933, in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, the youngest of the five children of Thomas and Hazel (née Smith) Clay. Bob spent his early childhood years in Swift Current before the family moved to Lethbridge when Bob was 6 years old.   A natural athlete, he participated in football and soccer as a young man, golf as an adult, and loved watching sports, especially hockey, throughout his life.   

As a young man, Bob worked in Waterton for several summers, and then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force where he served as a firefighter. He was stationed in Comox, BC, then Senneterre, QC, where he met and married Therese, the mother of his four children. Eventually, they moved back to Lethbridge to be closer to family, where he served with the Lethbridge Fire Department. 

A talent for bowling led Bob to a career in managing bowling alleys in Lethbridge and then Red Deer. Later, he earned a steamfitter/pipefitter ticket and began his plumbing business, Bob’s Boiler Service.  During his time in Squamish and Vancouver, he worked on large construction projects, including two Fairmont Hotels in Vancouver and Whistler. 

Bob was a hard worker, good provider, and dedicated father. He involved his children in his love of bowling by enrolling them in the YBC (Youth Bowling Club), ensured they each pursued hobbies or activities they enjoyed, and took his family on memorable camping trips with aunts, uncles and cousins throughout the summers. 

Following in his father’s footsteps, Bob enjoyed carpentry and woodworking. He could fix almost anything and lovingly made many toys and other amazing items for his children and grandchildren, including a large dollhouse, a car ferry, and a firetruck with a working ladder, among others. Bob often donated the colorful bird houses/condos he built in the woodworking shop at the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization as raffle prizes and for displays. 

After retiring, Bob moved back to Lethbridge to be closer to family and childhood friends. It was here, 23 years ago, that he met Barbara Marshalsay at the home of mutual friends. They married in 2005 in an intimate ceremony attended by family and close friends, and shared a wonderful life of travel, gardening, camping, holidays at the Waterton cabin, and other adventures for 18 years. 

Bob will be lovingly remembered by his wife Barbara, and his children:  Carol of Sidney, BC, Angela of Calgary, AB, Patricia (Rob) of Kenilworth, UK, and Darren (Liz) of Vancouver, BC; and their mother Therese (Bill) of Calgary, AB.  He also leaves nine grandchildren: Jordan Clay (Naomi), Benjamin Clay (Kim), Henry Clayton, George Clayton, Georgia Clay, Kate Clay, Hazel Clay, Sebastian Clay and Theodore Clay; and many nieces and nephews.  He will be fondly remembered by Barbara’s sister, Lou Niven; brother Robert (Bea) Niven; sister-in-law Anita Niven; and many nieces and nephews, as well as Barbara’s daughter Lynne Marshalsay and her family.  

 He will be missed by friends in Vancouver, including John Sawyer and his special friend Don Fleming of West Vancouver, B.C.  He will be remembered also by friends of Dr. Bob and Bill W. both in North Vancouver, BC and Lethbridge, AB. 

Bob was predeceased by his parents, Thomas and Hazel; siblings Donald, Ralph, Bertha, and Evelyn; and Barbara’s son, Scott Marshalsay. 

A Memorial Service to celebrate Bob’s life will be held at SOUTHMINSTER UNITED CHURCH, 1011 – 4 Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 11:00 am with Rev. Taylor Croissant officiating. The service will be live-streamed at the following link:  

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Canadian Red Cross, or the Salvation Army, in Bob’s memory.

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