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Robert E. Evans Funeral Home

16000 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD

OBITUARY

Bill A. McClay, Jr.

May 2, 1932September 7, 2020

With heartfelt sadness we announce the passing of William A. McClay Jr., “Bill,” loving father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, on Monday, September 7, 2020. Bill and his wife, Jane, were married for 63 years and lived in Bowie, MD. Bill was a loving father to his 4 sons; Bill, Steve, Tom, and Jimmy and beloved grandfather “Gramps” to his 9 grandchildren; Samantha, Nathan, Blaine, Shelby, Kayleigh, Kennedey, Delaney, Zach and Jake and his two great-grandchildren Carter and Beckham.

Bill grew up in Uniontown, PA. and graduated from Uniontown H.S. in 1950 where he was an outstanding basketball player and thespian with genuine love of the theatre he received from his father. In 1954, he graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia, where he excelled as an athlete in basketball, tennis, and track and was awarded “Most Outstanding Athlete” his senior year. Bethany College also happened to be the place where he met the love of his life, Jane Charlton. However, the Bill and Jane adventure would have to wait a few years. Bill finished school and joined the Army (54 to 57) and was stationed in Monterey, California where he honed his linguistic skills in Chinese which eventually led to his continued service and dedicated to his country through his career at the Department of Defense (57-92).

Bill married Jane in August of 1957 and years later they settled into their home on Madonna Lane in Bowie (64). The house soon became a home for him, his wife and 4 boys. In 1973 the family moved overseas for 2 years. Bill was a tireless planner and for their trips cross country before departing for overseas from California and then again for the return trip in 1975 from Portland back to Bowie, Bill mapped out the greatest sightseeing tour (and greatest memories) the world has ever seen (Fort Knox, The Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, 4 Corners, Redwood Forest, San Francisco, Monterey, Hawaii, Seattle, Mt. Rushmore, Yosemite, National Park, Niagara Falls and every small town in between.) Upon their return to Bowie, Bill and Jane expanded their home with the backroom addition which Bill did all the finishing drywall and trim work on his own. Bill loved to tinker and repair things around the house, so duct tape and wrenches became well-known staples in the home. :-) Home-repairs aside, Bill ☺had a special talent for outdoor living space and a green thumb. He and Jane turned their backyard into this awesome gathering place; it was this wondrous botanical maze and stone pathways leading from one arbor to the next lined with trees, shrubs and scores of azaleas. It was the perfect setting for life events, and many, many quiet evenings spent talking with Jane about something or nothing at all. But nothing compared to the atmosphere it created for the annual Memorial Day Weekend Crab Feasts over the years. Friends from all parts of their lives and their kid’s lives would come and enjoy this annual party rain or shine (blue tarps included.) Bill even tried his hand at grilling on this one day a year, but it was never about him but the enjoyment he observed in those around him.

Bill retired in 1992 and spent his time enjoying his yard and traveling with his wife to Germany and California, spending time visiting his grandchildren to see them perform at school or play sports as well as becoming their playmate-storyteller and jokester, creating a vast music and video library, spending hours on his computer and actually understanding how and why computers worked, watched the Redskins and Maryland Basketball, eating Chinese food, and watching hours upon hours of old movies with his wife.

Unfortunately, about 8 years ago Bill began suffering from the effects of dementia. As his memory and body slowly began to fail him-his incredible sense of humor shone through. So many memories of Bill include someone telling a story about Bill’s sense of humor. He was always the funny man; whether it was referring to himself as “poor Bill” or Sweet Willy” or effortlessly reversing words (Rilly Sabbit) to the laughter and amazement of young ears.

Bill will be dearly missed but his memories, smile, and sense of humor will be with us forever.

A Special thanks to the home caregivers who cared for Bill over the past years and to the entire staff at La Casa that took exceptional care of Bill this past year.

Services

19 September

Memorial Gathering

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Robert E. Evans Funeral Home

16000 Annapolis Rd
Bowie, Maryland 20715

19 September

Memorial Service

12:00 pm

Robert E. Evans Funeral Home

16000 Annapolis Rd
Bowie, Maryland 20715

Memories

Bill A. McClay, Jr.

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Teri Herren

September 13, 2020

My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire McClay family. Mr. McClay was an extraordinary Gentleman. I have many fond memories of him from over many years. He always had a smile on his face and was so silly. He will truly be missed. RIP Mr. McClay! You will always have a special place in my heart.

Angela Kreitzer

September 13, 2020

Bill (Gramps) was a wonderful father-in-law to me for 20 years & amazing Grandfather to Kennedey. He will forever be in our hearts. Too many memories to count. God bless.

Paul Zahler

September 13, 2020

Was a second DAD t o me and my good Boating buddy. Help me lose 160 lbs as my health coach that you can SEE I have kept off for 8 years now. What a great MENTOR. Will be missed.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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