Joy Marie Pearson Clay, 88, passed away Thursday, November 19, 2020, at Trinity Nursing Home, Columbus, MS. A graveside service was on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 11:00 AM at Whitehall United Methodist Church Cemetery Louisville, MS with Rev. Andy Pearson officiating and Lowndes Funeral Home, Columbus, MS directing. Joy, who indeed brought great joy to everyone she knew, was born on September 20, 1932, in Choctaw County, MS to the late Walter Roy Pearson and Alice Narcissus Gordon Pearson. She attended Winston County schools where she was on the basketball team. With a true life story of love at first sight, Joy married Raymond Paul Clay on December 25, 1950, in Louisville, MS. They moved to Columbus in 1956 where soon afterward they opened up Fairlane Barber Shop. Joy helped her husband with the bookkeeping of his business and was a homemaker. They enjoyed a wonderful life together until his death in 1983. Joy was very proud of her home and loved to improve on it and move things around. Her yard was immaculate and she loved working in it. It received comments from many as one of the “prettiest yards anywhere”. Joy was a dedicated mother first and foremost. She treasured her sons and embraced every moment with them. When her sons were older she worked at Quality Stamp Store and later in life retired from The National Bank of Commerce Accounting Department. She especially loved and was devoted to her role as “Mama Clay” to her grandsons who all adored her. Her daughters in law were indeed blessed to have had such a loving and Christian woman for their “Mother-in-love”. Her laugh was contagious and a sound that her family will always treasure. Joy was of very strong faith and served the Lord wholeheartedly as a long-time member of Wesley Methodist Church. Joy was a member of Circle 4 at Wesley and enjoyed her time of fellowship with these ladies and her Sunday School Class. She loved antiques, refinishing furniture, searching flea markets for that special treasure, and reading her bible. She was there to cheer on her grandsons at any event that they participated in if her health and the weather allowed. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Clay is preceded in death by husband, Paul Clay; sister, Warlene Hathorn; brothers, H.J “Foots” Pearson, Estel Pearson, Earcel Pearson, Burrel Pearson, Fearon Pearson, Eldridge Pearson and Paul “Jack” Pearson; and great-grandson, John Pearson Clay. Joy is survived by her sons, Stewart “Catfish” (Malinda) Clay of Columbus, MS and Mark (Sharon) Clay of Hernando, MS; sister-in-law, Nora Clay of Gulfport, MS; brother-in-law, T. J. Moore of Caledonia, MS; grandsons, Jeremy (Karen) Clay of Columbus, MS, Wesley Clay of New Orleans, LA, Adam (Kacy) Clay of Oxford, MS, Brantly (Anna) Clay of Morris, AL and Jonathan (Lacey) Clay of Hernando, MS. Mama Clay was also blessed with 12 great-grandchildren that she was so very proud of and her eyes would shine with love and pride when speaking of them. She was “Aunt Joy” to numerous nieces and nephews and other extended families that she loved dearly and enjoyed making her famous caramel cake for their reunions. All of these people she loved dearly and touched deeply. We will not say goodbye but will keep her memory and love alive in our hearts until we meet again. Mama Clay’s grandsons will have the honor of serving as pallbearers to carry her to her final resting place beside Grandaddy Clay. Memorials may be made to Whitehall UMC #10954 Hwy 14 West Louisville, MS 39339.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on November 22, 2020
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