|Birth: ||Dec. 13, 1938|
|Death: ||Jan. 31, 2012, USA|
December 13, 1938 - January 31, 2012
Joe LeRoy McClay was born December 13, 1938 to Taylor and Mildred (Brown) McClay in Prineville, Oregon. The McClay family originally settled in the Redmond area in 1905 when Joe's great- grandfather Zachariah McClay and grandfather Joe McClay moved to the area establishing a long family history in the Central Oregon area.
Joe spent his early childhood living in the Ochocos where his father worked for the highway department. At school age the family moved to Redmond where he entered school and would graduate from Redmond High School in 1957.
After high school Joe entered the Army National Guard, ER 28 794 064 SP4 USAR. He reenlisted several times, and received a final honorable discharge on January 31, 1965. Upon completing his enlistment he returned to Central Oregon where he was employed by the Forest Service in Sisters, Oregon. He also worked on various construction projects in the area, including the building of Pilot Butte Elementary School in Bend.
In 1967 Joe went to work for Pacific Gas Transmission (PGT), now Pacific Gas & Energy (PGE), where he remained employed for 35 years. At PGT he worked as a mechanic and welder. He loved his job and followed the industry until his final days.
During his career Joe developed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a debilitating auto-immune disease. The disease forced him into disability, and at 62 years of age, Joe received a life sustaining lung transplant. The transplant would extend his life 11 years; exceeding all medical expectations of survival. In the end, Joe lost his fight to cancer, an unfortunate side-effect from the medications used to manage the transplant.
Throughout his life, Joe maintained life-long friendships, loved to hunt, raise and ride horses, fish, farm, and enjoyed the outdoors in any fashion. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. He was involved in the activities of his children and grandchildren to whatever extent he was able.
On November 17th, 1962 he married Judy C. (Warner) McClay. Their union lasted 40 years, ending 2002. The union produced three daughters; Ginger R. Reed, Stacey Jo-McClay Moser, and Shelley L. Hanson.
On March 13, 2003 he married Patricia A. McClay, a high school sweet heart. His post transplant years were happily spent with Patricia as they enjoyed retirement and the rest of his life together. In his last year, life was quite difficult, and as difficult as it was, his devoted and loving wife did everything possible to make it a peaceful and blessed time.
Joe is survived by wife Patricia A. McClay, his three daughters Ginger, Stacey, and Shelley, and son-in-law Joe, two step-children Cynthia Overton and Robert Kelly. Surviving are 5 grandchildren: Taylor, Ethan, Lance, Justy, and Mallory, and 3 step-grand children: Samantha, Shasta, and Ryan.
Joe is also survived is by his only brother, Dennis McClay, his wife, Naomi; their sons; (nephews) Gordon and (Kim) Clowers, and Gerry Clowers, and great-niece Jaden Clowers. Dennis was a wonderfully devoted and helpful brother as Joe's health declined, something Joe was very grateful for.
He was preceded in death by his parents Taylor and Mildred (Brown) McClay.
His family would like to thank all of Joe's close friends for their pilgrimages to visit him in Seattle while he awaited a transplant, for their continued involvement in his life when his ability to do the things he loved became difficult and even impossible, and for making him aware, on a regular basis, that he had not become a distant memory. He fought hard for life for himself, but mostly for his family and friends.
The family would also like to reach out to the donor family whose tragic loss of a son enabled Joe's life to be extended. He was eternally grateful and forever humbled by the experience.
Finally, the family would like to thank Hospice for the care and support provided during Joe's last days. The professionalism, tenderness, and sincerity brought some peace of mind during a very difficult time. Please send any donations to Partners In Care, 2075 NE Wyatt Court, Bend, Oregon 97701, 541-382-5882, www.partnersbend.org. A visitation will be held from 9 - 10 a.m. and a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday Feb 6, 2012 at Redmond Memorial Chapel, 717 SW 6th Street, Redmond, OR
Patricia Ann Mahaffey McClay (1942 - 2013)*
Redmond Memorial Cemetery
Created by: Craig Handy
Record added: Feb 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84476435