|Michael F. Easley, Governor
Buck Lattimore, Chairman
Thomas J. Bolch, Commissioner
Laura K. Mavretic, Commissioner
Renée C. Riggsbee, Commissioner
Christopher Scott, Commissioner
Dianne C. Sellers, Commissioner
Former North Carolina Industrial Commission Commissioner Charles Aiken
Clay, 77, died September 27, 2002 at his home in Raleigh. His funeral was held
September 30 at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.
Mr. Clay was born on November 28, 1925 in Roxboro, NC to Patrick Henry
Clay and the former Omega Mills. His father died when he was nine; and he and
his brother, Russell, entered the Methodist Orphanage in Raleigh.
In 1943, after graduating from the Methodist Orphanage’s high school,
Charles Clay joined the Navy and served until 1945. In 1950, he graduated the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mr. Clay worked for the Durham Morning Herald (1949-53) and the
Raleigh News & Observer (1953-64). At the N&O, he wrote
editorials during the tenure of the late Jonathan Daniels.
In 1964, Mr. Clay left the N&O and joined the gubernatorial campaign
of L. Richardson Preyer. He served as an aide and speechwriter to the Democratic
In 1965, Charles Clay became editor of The Fayetteville Observer.
He left the Observer in 1978 to work on Democratic Governor James B. Hunt
Jr.’s reelection campaign. After Hunt won, Mr. Clay served as a staff member
of the Administrative Office of the Courts and a commissioner of the Industrial
Commission (1982-86). In 1987, the News & Observer honored him as
“Tar Heel of the Week.”
After he retired, Charles Clay wrote a novel, The Alien Corn,
based on his Depression-era experiences in the Methodist Orphanage
Mr. Clay’s survivors include his wife, the former Betty Sanderson;
three daughters, Omega Clay of Todd, NC, and Maggie Clay Love and Patricia Clay
of Raleigh; one son, William C. Clay of Raleigh; and four grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made
to Hospice of Wake County, 1300 St.
Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27605; or to the American
Heart Association, 3131 RDU Center Drive, Suite 100, Morrisville, NC 27560.