McInnis & Holloway
Funeral Homes

McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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CLAY, Leigh Everett James

March 14, 1954 – September 22, 2012

Leigh beloved husband of Marlene Clay of Calgary, AB, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Peter Lougheed Centre on September 22, 2012 at the age of 58 years after a long and brave battle with diabetes and kidney disease.

Leigh was born in Red Deer, Alberta and lived on the family farm until the age of 6 when the family moved to Vernon, BC. Leigh attended Camp Hurlburt for diabetic children and enjoyed going there every summer. He also volunteered as a candy striper at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. One of his favorite jobs was working at the Chick Hatchery. Leigh went to Vernon Senior Secondary until graduation in 1973. He was a long distance runner and a proficient swimmer. He loved the outdoors and spent many summers in the bush and at Ellison Park. He worked for McDonald and Sons in Vernon and for the Vernon Post Office. Leigh attended art College in Nelson BC for a short time. Leigh married his first wife Sue in 1978 and they moved to Calgary in 1979 where they separated shortly thereafter. Leigh bought a blue Toyota 4×4 truck that he was most proud of for many years. While working for the Calgary Convention Centre as a floorman, he met and later married Marlene Anne Bell on July 25, 1981. Leigh worked for the Calgary General Hospital as a micrographics technician and later for the Calgary Zoo as a gardener when he obtained his Olds College Horticulture Diploma in landscaping in 1989. Most recently, he worked for Sunnyside Greenhouses; retiring in 2000. Leigh and Marlene enjoyed many happy times together on road trips. They attended many Breweriana Collector’s Club Meetings, in Alberta and other provinces. Leigh has an extensive collection of Big Rock Brewery items which he was very proud of. Leigh was also an avid stamp collector and enjoyed browsing flea markets and stamp shops to see what he could find to add to his collections. Leigh was a rock music enthusiast and an amateur poet. In his younger years, his photography skills took him outside where he spent many hours capturing photos of scenic places, nature and animals. During his long and valiant battle with diabetes and kidney failure, he never wavered in his fiercely independent attitude and determination to find some measure of quality of life to the end. He was immensely fond of animals, especially cats. As his health declined, his lifeline companion Tiny gave him much comfort every day. His captivating sense of humour, wisdom and determined spirit were integral to who he was.

Leigh is survived by his loving and devoted wife Marlene Anne; mother-in-law Hannah Bell of Calgary; brother Aubrey and nephew Clint of Vernon, BC; brother Karl Turnquist (Allan) of Edmonton; niece Leasa Eckland (Sean) and great nephews Callum and Carter of Anahim Lake, BC; Aunt Elsie Clay of Stauffer, Alberta as well as cousins and other relatives in Central Alberta. Leigh was pre-deceased by his father Everett Clay in 1959 and his mother Frances Turnquist on March 1, 2012.

Celebration of Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S, Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Reception to follow. Condolences may be forwarded through Donations kindly accepted in Leigh’s memory to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (10806 124 Street Edmonton, AB) Telephone: (780) 447-4748, The Canadian Diabetes Association (1400-522 University Avenue, Toronto, ON) Telephone: (800) 226-8464 and the Kidney Foundation (6007 1A Street SW, Calgary, AB) Telephone: (403) 255 6108

In living memory of Leigh Clay, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Dearest Marlene,

    I am so sorry to hear of Leigh’s passing.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you!

    With much love,


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  2. Dear Marlene,
    I am so sorry to hear about Leigh’s death. My deepest condolences to you and your mom at this very sad time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  3. Marlene
    You, Leigh, and your Mom will be in my thoughts and prayers on Saturday as you attend Leigh’s celebration of life. I will call when I am back. Take Care my friend. Helen

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  4. Marlene; Just to let you know that my thoughts and prayers have been with you all week long. I send you my deepest sympathies for your loss.
    Kindest Regards

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  5. Dear Marlene,What a very sad thing to lose your dear husband so young.Thinking of you,love,Carol

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  6. Marie & Larry Hill :


    Larry and I were both shocked and saddened at the loss of our friend. We are so very sorry for your loss. Leigh was a caring, and amazing person. We both send you love, prayers, and hugs. Thinking of you, love Marie & Larry

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