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Obituaries » Marguerite C. Clay

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July 6, 1934 - December 14, 2022

A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, December 19, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Schoolcraft Presbyterian Church, 224 E. Cass St. Schoolcraft. A luncheon will follow at the Eagles, 11611 Shaver Rd, Schoolcraft. Marguerite will be laid to rest with Jack in High Point, NC Memorial contributions may be given to Schoolcraft Presbyterian Church or Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes.

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Marguerite Clay, age 88, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, companion and friend to so many, passed away on December 14, 2022 surrounded by her sons, daughter-in-law and longtime companion.

Marguerite was born on July 6, 1934 in Kalamazoo, first born child of parents Peter J. and Ruth (Zuidema) Ryskamp. She started her public education at South Westnedge School in Kalamazoo until her family moved to Detroit during WWII where her parents went to work in the bomber plant. After the war, the family including her sister Sally and brother John returned to Kalamazoo where she finished elementary at South Westnedge School, attended Vine Jr. High and Kalamazoo Central High School where she met her future husband Jack R. Clay. Marguerite also attended Western Michigan University. She worked for a period of time in the cafeteria at the Upjohn Company and then took time off to raise her three active sons, Stephen, Scott and John. Later she worked at the First National Bank as an office assistant.

In 1975 Marguerite and her family left Kalamazoo to live first in Virginia and then North Carolina. For years she assisted in the family business, Clay’s Bootery in High Point.
Marguerite’s husband Jack passed away in 1998. They had been married for 46 years. While continuing living in High Point, she worked at Dillard’s Department Store. In 2003 Marguerite moved back to Kalamazoo to help care for her elderly father. During this time, she renewed an old friendship of another High School classmate, Charles (Chuck) Miller. His wife had passed away in 1980. Chuck became her devoted companion; they both loved to dance and found every opportunity to do so. They enjoyed travel and often took trips to Myrtle Beach, Phoenix, cruises with sister Sally and her husband Bill Birch, and also enjoyed visits to her brother John and his wife Janet’s home on Lake Michigan.

Marguerite was very content in her later years, especially after moving into her beautiful condo in Sterling Oaks, Portage in 2006. The many friends she made there became her second family. She enjoyed decorating, entertaining and occasional casino trips to play a little blackjack. She loved spending time with friends and family. She enjoyed sports, especially golf and tennis. She was also an avid Tigers fan. Marguerite was a strong person of faith and an active member in the Presbyterian Church in Schoolcraft. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she belonged to Zion Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo.

Marguerite will forever be remembered for her kindness, cheerfulness, enthusiasm and joy of life. She will be greatly missed by all of her loving family and many friends.

Marguerite was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jack and son Scott.
Her memory will be cherished by her sons Stephen (Denise) Clay of Michigan and John (Mary) Clay of North Carolina; Grandson, Scott Clay of North Carolina; Sister and Brother-in-law, Sally and Bill Birch of Kalamazoo; and their families; Brother and Sister-in-law, John and Janet Ryskamp of South Haven and their families; Companion, Charles Miller of Portage and family; Several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.