Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Mrs. Luella Hyatt Clay, the mother of our friend and colleague, Congressman Bill Clay. Mrs. Clay departed this Earth on February 21, 1997, at the age of 94. I am certain that my colleagues in this Chamber and others throughout the Nation join me in expressing our deep sorrow at the loss of Bill's mother. As we mourn her passing, we pause to reflect upon the life of Luella Hyatt Clay.
Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Clay was born in Black Jack and was the second of eight children. At the age of 5, the family moved to what is now St. Louis' Baden neighborhood because St. Louis County did not provide schools for black children. When she was 17, Mrs. Clay married Irving Charles Clay, Sr., a welder. They had seven children and were married 56 years. Mr. Clay died in 1975.
Throughout her life, Mrs. Clay was devoted to her family and church. She was affectionately known as ``Sis'' and loved by all who knew her. Mrs. Clay was one of the oldest members of St Nicholas Catholic Church, which she and her husband joined in the 1940's. She also was a member of the church's Ladies Sodality.
Mr. Speaker, in addition to Congressman Bill Clay, Mrs. Clay leaves to mourn he passing a son, St. Louis Alderman Irving C. Clay, Jr. She also leaves to mourn two daughters, Mary Elizabeth Lloyd and Flora Everett. In addition to her children, Mrs. Clay leaves behind 20 grandchildren, including State Senator William Lacy Clay; 30 great-grandchildren; and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
Mr. Wife, Jay, joins me in expressing our condolences to Bill and Carol and other members of the Clay family. It is our hope that the family will find comfort in knowing that others share their sorrow. Mrs. Clay was a very special individual who touched the lives of many. She will always be remembered.
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