Peggy Justice Clay

peggy clay

January 3, 1944 ~ April 17, 2016

Resided in: Grayson, GA

Peggy Justice Clay, 72, a beloved first grade teacher in the Gwinnett County School System for more than 20 years, died April 17, 2016.

Born to James Delmer Justice and Maggie Marie Scarbrough Justice in Newton, MS on January 3, 1944, she moved to Douglas, GA in 1950 when her father moved the family’s lumber company to West Green, GA. A graduate of Coffee County High School, she attended Stetson University, DeLand, FL. Upon graduating from Stetson with a degree in elementary education, she married Everett Todd Clay, Coral Gables, FL on June 21, 1964.

Her first teaching position, with the Volusia County FL School System, was at the District’s Osteen School, where she taught first and second grade in the four-room school.

She moved to Coral Gables FL in 1965 and her teaching career took a different turn. She taught third grade until the spring of 1968. Her son was born in September of that year and she retired for the first time.

As she would say to friends, “I really didn’t expect to teach again. We had daughters born in 1971 and 1974 and I really had a school of my own. I loved every minute, or a least most of them, while I was raising my children. However, there came a time when they started going off to school and I needed to go back to work.”

While her children were still young part time work was found by creating the Mothers’ Morning Out program at the First Methodist Church in Albany, GA; working for the church she attended while they lived in Waukesha, WI; as well as being a preschool teacher at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, GA.

She taught first grade at Gwin Oaks Elementary in Lawrenceville for 20 years and retired in June of 2004. “I loved being a part of a very close community of teachers, parents, and children who were really excited about education of the whole person. I have had the joy of seeing many of my students come back through the years and talk about how much they learned and how much they enjoyed first grade. It makes all the hard work worth it,” she would tell her friends.

She and her family have lived in many different places. Mrs. Clay and her husband, E. Todd Clay, who was responsible for international corporate communications at Delta Air Lines, have traveled to many different destinations around the world. Her favorite place in the world was the beach, with her family.

She is survived by her husband, Everett Todd Clay; four children – Dr. Scott Clay and wife Virginia Clay, Brunswick; Amanda Clay McGee and husband Edwin McGee, Lawrenceville; Rebecca Clay Smith and husband Chad Alexander Smith, Grayson; Frank Santoro and wife Sarah Evans, Skokie, IL; a brother, Marshall Justice, Jacksonville, FL; and nine beloved grandchildren.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, April 23 at Snellville United Methodist Church at 10AM. A service of memorial will be held at the church at 11AM, with a reception following.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Snellville United Methodist Church for the McGee/Smith Music Scholarship or the Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op.

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  1. Isabel A Barbosa says:

    My deepest sympathies to the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Francis Dullick says:

    Please accept my deepest condolences for your family’s loss.

  3. Francis Dullick says:

    Please accept my deepest condolences for your family’s loss.

  4. Anna Sandoval says:

    My prayers are with the Santoro and Clay family

  5. Anne Payne says:

    I’m praying for peace and comfort for all of the Clay family. I always loved hearing Mandy’s stories of her mom and all of her wonderful family.

  6. Kirk Sinclair says:

    From my wife and I and our entire family to you and your family, we send our deep felt condolences. God bless you and your family.

  7. Frankie Jacobs says:

    Peggy was a capable, kind, loving person. I admired her so much. Please accept my condolences. I will be praying for you during this time.

  8. Golden Isles Pak's Karate says:

    Our thoughts, prayers and condolences to Dr. Clay, Mrs. Clay and our wonderful Karate kids. You can see the love felt for Mrs. Peggy Clay, as a mom, grandmother and an awesome teacher. She is what we aspire to be. Frank Armani, Seth Dowdy and Eli Bunkley.

  9. The Limburgs says:

    We extend our deepest sympathies to the Clay family. We hope that you all find peace in spite of this loss.

  10. Tony Tusssing says:

    My condolences to the entire family. Have not seen any of you since our days at Stetson but thought of you many times. What a loss

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