Joel Bense Clay

Joel Bense Clay passed away peacefully at his home in Newton Abbot, Devon, England, on April 11. He was 74.

Born Dec. 27, 1942, in Westfield, N.J., Joel moved to Southold with his parents, Dorris and Richard Clay, in 1951.

Joel graduated from Southold High School in 1962 and immediately joined the U.S. Air Force, training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He eventually served at Wethersfield Air Force Base in Essex, England, where he met Maureen Maynard of Southend-on-Sea in Essex. They married in 1964 and lived in Massachusetts, South Carolina, Southend-on-Sea and Southold before settling permanently in Newton Abbot in 2004.

With a kind and caring nature and an absolute devotion to animals, Joel found an ideal job at the North Fork Animal Welfare League in Peconic, where he cared for the many dogs and cats in need of loving homes.

Joel is survived by his wife, Maureen; his brother, Walter Clay of Concord, Mass.; his cousin, Justine Ness of Ponte Vedra, Fla.; many nieces and nephews, and his baby sister, Barbara Ann Clay of Greenport, whose life he saved in a car crash in Cutchogue in 1955.

Donations to North Fork Animal Welfare League in Joel’s name would be much appreciated.

This is a paid notice.