Victor "VIC" Clay
September 16, 1917 – October 14, 2020
Vic Clay 09/16/1917
Vic started his adventures in life in the small farming town of Shedd, in the Willamette Valley, Oregon where his father was a local banker. He was the youngest of three siblings. His brother was 12 years older and his sister 9.
He was a product of the local schools until he entered Oregon State University where he majored in Mechanical Engineering and took his Father's advice and joined the ROTC.
It was at OSU that Vic met the love of his life, Kit. However, their first date did not indicate that he would get to even start down that path. It was an innocent start, a Walk Disney movie and them a stop at a poplar hang-out to get to know each other. On the way back to Kit's dorm Vic was pulled over by a policeman. This was shocking to Kit as that had never happened to her or anyone in her family. The policeman asked his name, after giving it Vic asked the officer what his name was... Upon being told, Vic said "Oh, I know your father. He's that swell preacher over in Peoria." After a warning to get a new bulb in his headlight the policemen left. Kit's remark was "Vic you talked that cop out of a ticket. My father or my brother would never had thought of doing such a thing." We guess that fact was not a show-stopper.
When Vic graduated, he let no grass grow under his feet, he became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Corp of Engineering, earning a whopping $182.50 a month; so he asked Kit to become his wife, which they accomplished on July 28th and then together they reported to Fort Ord.
In 1943, Vic was sent by the Army to New Guinea. Kit was at home with two daughters, Vicky, 22 months old and Sue, a 2 month old baby. Vic and Kit wrote every day, but the letters would sometimes get batched up and be delivered at once.
In New Guinea Vic was selected to transfer to the Army Air Corp and became a pilot flying transports in New Guinea, DC3s and C46s in two years Vic was busy. He became a Major with flying pay earning $600/ month, quite a Hot Dog.
In 1945 when Vic was preparing to come home, Vic wrote that he wanted to start working on adding 2 sons to the family. All Kit promised was a long talk about the responsibilities of fatherhood, and the need for being present.
Coming home he had another job, that was to get a job.
He started interviewing with airlines Pan Am successfully, but they wanted him to go to the next day to Rio de Janeiro. His answer was a resounding NO. He wanted a chance to reunite with his family. Next was TWA, they wanted him to fly for Chang Chi Chec. Again, not a family friendly option. Then he tried United Airlines who sais yes and wanted him to go away for six months training. Again, this wasn't in Vic's plan so another dead end.
A change of direction was called for. Vic interviewed with Shell Oil. They said that they wanted him but that he had to have a degree in Engineering to qualify for the job they had in mind. Thirty minutes after he shared the fact that he had that degree, he was a Shell Oil employee. He was a Petroleum Engineer, managing a field of oil rigs in Ventura, CA.
The family settled down to a bucolic life, with their girls growing up with the sun, beach, and the sea. Vic and Kit added those two sons to the family, John and 18 months later came along Peter. Then they lived in Oregon for three years.
Then the family lived for ten years in California, where Vic was working with Chevron.
When the kids had left the nest, Vic and Kit set out for a challenging adventure. Life overseas with field jobs in the oil industry.
First there was seven years in Sumatra, a larger, but less populated Indonesian island south of Vietnam. It wasn't really a field job, it turned out to be a jungle job. Their camp, a mile in diameter, was carved out in the jungle with a office complex, club house, ballroom, 18 hole golf course, schools, churches, medical faculties and housing for 100 Ex-pats and 500 Indonesians.
Notice I didn't say grocery. Kit was challenged to use all of her Home Ec training when Vic explained that she must order the food that they would need for six weeks in advance and plan on a lot of entertaining. With a cook and a house-boy who also was the gardener, who didn't speak English Vic and Kit's first priority was to learn "living Indonesian."
They developed from wondering what we will do with "all this free time" to a rich busy life learning about their new home.
Vic never let Kit forget the golf tournament she won with a 34-handicap. Kit remembered the music of their new life. The muezzin in the minaret calling faithful to prayer, the buzz of katydids, the croaking frogs and the children at play, became the sounds of their day.
They got to view the seven years that they spent with the gentle Indonesian people in their beautiful jungle as a truly unforgettable adventure.
However, Vic and Kit decided to seek another overseas assignment before returning to the United States to retire.
So it's off to a field, well perhaps a sand, job in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. Chevron sent Vic to a contract with Aramco, a conglomerate of four companies: Exon, Mobil, Texaco, and Chevron.
Their first impression was dubious at best. Arriving exhausted after a long flight from London to find themselves in a village of antiquated mobile homes. Theirs was dark and sparsely furnished, however on the coffee table sat a tiny African violet. There was hope. Maybe life in this strange new land was going to be okay after all.
It was strange. Veiled women dressed in black. Hidden rooms in their base grocery for ham, bacon and sausage- all pork was strictly prohibited to all but ex-pats. A wall of fire with an eerie red glow ever present with its hot air and fumes. This fire was part of the process of eliminating gas for safe transport of the oil. The need for secrecy and quite gathering to observe their religion.
There were great adventures also. An invitation to dinner, the home of a man that Vic met riding to work. The thrill of a Christmas trip to Riyadh to attend a performance of Handel's "Messiah." Attending a Goat grab, a Saudi pot luck based around a pit-BBQed goat.
Back to the US, going to Houston. Vic retired from Chevron at age 62. He continued a career of consulting for 10 more years.
Vic and Kit started their real retirement with their move into Carlsbad By The Sea in December of 1999. They were the third residents in the Grand building. It was Kit's 43rd home.
They continued living a full and active life. Kit frequently pursing her love of music and fun leading fellow residents in sing-alongs with her accompanying them on the organ. Seven years ago Kit passed away.
Vic went on about his life, enjoying his activities and the caring companionship of dear friends.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Victor "VIC" Clay
Bob & Marilyn Clay
October 26, 2020
Our family and our country lost another of the greatest generation.
Vic was, indeed, an inspiration to our family and to all of his siblings, grand children and great great grand children.
Vic lived a full life with a laundry list of accomplishments.
Even though the advancing years finally caught up with Vic, and we knew he couldn't live forever we were saddened when we got the news. I'll never forget the time in the early 40's 1942 or 43 when Vic walked into our house wearing his Army Officers Uniform, I was about 10 years old at that time. That memory will be with me the rest of my life.I have been privileged to have been able to call Vic my uncle.
October 19, 2020
I was so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I have walked at the Carlsbad beach every morning for the past 11 years and I had the pleasure of meeting your dad in February 2009 when he went out of his way to introduce himself. A friendship was formed and he was always such a bright spot in my day! He was quick to share a scripture or a fun and witty story peppered with memories of his loving family and how special you all are to him. He was such a kind man and he touched so many people's lives in such a positive way-mine included. Sending love and prayers to your entire family.