Claire E. Smith, 81

Claire E. Smith, 81, of South Haven went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from the VA Hospital in Battle Creek. Claire was born Sept. 2, 1933, to Joseph and Eunice (Ridgely) Smith in Allegan County.
Claire was educated in Allegan and later went on to serve his country in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1956. He married Janet Clay on June 6, 1963.
Claire enjoyed fishing and spent many summers with friends and family on the water. He was also a licensed pilot who loved airplanes and even built his own glider plane. He was a member of the Greater Pentecostal Temple.
He was preceded in death, along with his parents, by his wife Janet Smith; sister Evelyn Smith; and brothers, Lloyd, Everett and Dale Smith.
Claire leaves to cherish his memory his sons, Joseph Clay Jr. and Ronald Clay of Kalamazoo; daughter Linda (Leon) Clay Garvin of Phoenix, Ariz.; sister Goldean Tate of Grandview; brother Ross Smith of Cheshire; special sister-in-law and caregiver Jerrye Cox; eight grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
A memorial service will be Monday, April 27, at 1 p.m., with Pastor Aaron Cobb officiating at Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven.
To share thoughts and memories on the family's online guestbook, visit
Arrangements are being provided by the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven, (269) 637-0333.


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