HOWELL H. CLAY, 82, died November 15, 2012, at the Clare Bridge Memory Care Center in Farmington Hills, MI from complications of Lewy-Body Dementia. Clay was born January 25, 1930 in Detroit, MI to Harold Clay Howell, Sr. and Rubye Hinson Howell. He married Lois Benedict, April 30, 1960. Clay attended Southeastern High School and Michigan State University on the GI Bill. Upon graduation, Clay served as a paratrooper in Korea. Clay is survived by Lois Howell, Jason Howell, Leslie (Howell) Welch, John, Lucas and Joshua Welch, Robert and Maxine Johnson, as well as many life-long friends from the lower east side, particularly the families of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Following Korea, Clay joined the United Fund of Southeastern Michigan as a temporary campaign worker in the mid-1950s. In 1992, Clay retired from the United Way of SE Michigan after serving as Executive Director for more than 23 years and raising millions of dollars over nearly 40 years. In the early 1060s, Clay was tapped by Henry Ford, Sr. to implement the pilot program for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), created by Executive Order of President John F. Kennedy. In 2012, the CFC celebrated its 50th anniversary, having raised more than 7 billion dollars from federal workers to-date. Son, husband, father, uncle, mentor, friend to many, Clay loved skiing, tennis, bagpipes, Tigers baseball, reading spy novels, chocolate and being with his family. Always physically active, Clay took up roller blading in his early 70s. His secret ambition was to be James Bond, and was known among his close friends and family for his GQ style, quiet, sweet demeanor, absolute devotion to his family and friends, and dry sense of humor. In place of flowers, please consider giving a donation to the Autism Society of North Carolina Wake Chapter, in honor of his grandson Joshua Welch. Donations may be sent to: Autism Society of NC Wake Chapter, PO Box 12944, Raleigh, NC 27605. Clay's family wishes to thank the staff of Clare Bridge of Farmington Hills and Seasons Hospice for their stellar care of Clay during his final months.
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To the Howell and Welch family: I was so sad to hear that Mr. Howell passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Clay was the best Exec I ever had while in the United Way. He was always honest, and I appreciated his insights. I am sure he was a wonderful attribute to friends and family. Thank you Clay!
Had the pleasure of working closely with Clay in the Executive Office. Deepest sympathies to Lois Howell and the rest of the family!
My deepest sympathies in the loss of your father, husband, and friend. From what I know of his daughter Leslie, Clay must have been a wonderful father and fabulous mentor - his family is testimony to his kind spirit and generous heart. May God's blessing and peace be with you all in the loss of so loved a man.
Mr Howell was a wonderful quiet spoken man. I am sorry for your loss.