He was preceded in death by his adoptive parents, James Marvin and Ruth Hickman Clay; birth mother, Jean Coffey Staley; sister, Carolyn Clay Ripley; and brother-in-law, Wendell Stewart.
Marcus was born and raised in Hickory, NC. He served as a Deputy Sheriff for Catawba County, NC for many years. He was an accomplished pianist and organist and played for many churches in Lenoir and Hickory, NC and in Johnson City, TN. Marcus worked for AT&T for an extended period and most recently worked as a realtor with Heritage Realty. Marcus loved woodworking, technology, traveling to the beach, family and friends and worshiping God, especially through music.
He is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Donna Stewart Clay; son, Tony Stewart; daughter Sara Clay; granddaughter, Raeleigh Stewart; sisters; Jeanie Beal, Cynthia Staley and Donna Miller; brothers; Paul and Joe Staley; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. He is also survived by brothers and sisters-in-law, Annette Ward, Bruce Stewart, Danny Stewart, Peggy Martin, Deena Stewart, Mike Stewart, and Marty Stewart and their spouses; and special friend, Kelly Clark.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Oakley-Cook Funeral Home in Bristol, TN. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Littlejohn Methodist Church, 4120 Littlejohn Church Road, Lenoir, NC with Rev. Rendell Hipps officiating. The committal service and interment will follow the service in the Littlejohn Methodist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Tony Stewart, Marty Stewart, James Hamilton, Mike Barber, Mitch Ripley, and Kurt Seagroatt, and honorary pallbearer, Stuart Clark.
Condolences and memories may be shared and viewed by visiting www.oakley-cook.com . Arrangements especially for Mr. Clay and his family have been made through Oakley-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory.