Sylvester Clay
Sylvester Clay
Sylvester Clay
Sylvester Clay
Sylvester Clay

Obituary of Sylvester Clay

Sylvester Clay was born December 23, 1936 in Duncan, Mississippi to the late Cleveland and

Alberta Parker Clay. He departed this life peacefully on March 24, 2020 at Cooper Hospital in

Camden, NJ. He was 83 years old.

Sylvester attended his primary schooling in Mississippi & completed his secondary education

after moving to Pittsburgh in 1952. His mother died in 1939 when he was 2 years old. At 15,

he and his brothers moved to Pittsburgh to live with his Mom's sister, Mattie Howard. Aunt

Mattie's love for family led her to raise many of her sister's children and grandchildren due to

her sibling's dying at younger ages. This is where Sylvester learned his love for family.

He & his brothers  grew into manhood  alongside his 1st cousin's Will Henderson, Sam Howard, & Vera Howard

 as brothers and sisters.  Sylvester attended and was baptized with his brother Alvester on October

11, 1953 at Trinity Missionary Baptist Churchin Pittsburgh  under the pastoral leadership of Reverend W.W.


Sylvester met the love of his life, Dorothy Ann Lynch while working in a Jewish community

grocery store in Pittsburgh. Dorothy had come to Pittsburgh from North Carolina to find better

work in 1956 but later moved to Philadelphia.

Sylvester went to Philadelphia in September 1957 to visit his girlfriend and though not

planned, never returned to Pittsburgh to live. He married 'Dottie', as he affectionately called

her on February 24, 1958 and they were married for over 62 years at the time of his passing.

To this union three children were born, Cleveland Sylvester, Caryn Ann & Lisa Ellen.

Sylvester & Dottie raised their family on Margaret St in the close knit Frankford section of

Philly with family & friends nearby (literally across the street, up the street, & around several

corners). This home was the center of many family gatherings & family fellowship over the

years. Sylvester & Dottie instilled 'family' into everything they did. Drive-in movies & family

vacations up & down the east coast was the norm. Visiting and attending family functions

from Pittsburgh, to New York, to Delaware, to Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois and even to

Los Angelos & Fresno California where he drove the family to meet his father (& Disney World

of course) in 1976. Following this trip Sylvester & Dottie moved the family to Willingboro NJ.

Sylvester was a dedicated family man & a hard worker. He worked as a machine operator for

over 15 years at the Keebler Biscuit company in Philadelphia. He retired from Keeblers in 1985

when they closed the Philadelphia location. He then held several jobs at various factories

landing his final position as a custodian in the Burlington Township school system. He retired

from this position after serving over 10 years in 2000.

Sylvester was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters, Cleveland Henry Clay

(Mississippi), Margaret Smith (Chicago), Mary Ester Sing (Mississippi), Eddie Lee Clay

(California), and Alvester Clay (Pittsburgh). He leaves to cherish his memories: his wife

Dorothy L. Clay, one son Cleveland S. Clay, both in NJ, two daughters Caryn A. Crump,

Philadelphia and Lisa C. Settle (Bernard), Maryland; two brothers, Reverend James Wesley

Clay, Philadelphia and Cleotha Clay, Kansas City MO; two brother-in-laws, Herman Lynch Jr.,

Delaware and Bob Lynch, NC; six  sister-in-laws, Bessie Love & Joyce Ingram (Vernon), both in

MD, Mae Frances Clark (Edward) of Illinois/NC, Avalene Lancaster (James), NC, Anna Clay, Pittsburgh,

Willie Mae Lynch, Philadelphia; eight grandkids Monique Jones (George), Henry Monroe Brown, Candice

Ellison (Ihmein), Latoya Henry (Jamar), Lyndsey Brightful, Terez Settle, Talise Settle, Te'Jour

Settle, eleven great-grandkids: Brennan Braxton, Ryan Jones, George Jones III, Inasia Ellison,

Ikera Ellison, Iyonna Ellison, Ilana Ellison, Nilaja Williams, Kimani Bowles, Amara Henry, Karson

Bo Rose; a special God-son born on his birthday Vernon Dexter 'Dusty' Ingram Jr.; his special SING

niece & nephew families, the children of his deceased sister Mary Ester,Ernestine Sing,Laverne Sing,

Gwendolyn Tucker,Margaret Berger,Calvin Sing and Debra Ausbon and a host of many, many other

special relatives and friends.

. . . DAD . . .

If we could write a story

It would be the greatest ever told.

Of a kind and loving Dad

Who had a heart of gold

We would write a million pages

But still be unable to say, just how

Much we love and miss him

Every single day

We'll remember all he taught us

We're hurt but won't be sad

because he'll send us down the answer

And he'll always be OUR DAD.

lovingly submitted, Cleve, Caryn, & Lisa

We, the family, express our heartfelt appreciation for all of the calls, texts, words of comfort

and prayers at this difficult time.

In the future after the desecration of the 2020 COVID-19 Corona virus that keeps us apart'


To plant a tree in memory of Sylvester Clay, please visit Tribute Store
Services for Sylvester Clay
There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by planting a tree in memory of Sylvester Clay.
Visit the Tribute Store
Share Your Memory of