Eleanor Jane Clay | AspenTimes.com
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Eleanor Jane Clay

Eleanor Jane Clay, longtime resident of La Mesa, Calif., died Sunday, March 15. She was 83.Eleanor Jane Zeitvogel was born on April 2, 1925, at the Glendale Stock Farm on Owl Creek outside Aspen. The ranch was owned and operated at the time by her grandfather, Mads Christiansen, and her uncle, Jens Christiansen. Jens found Eleanor too formal a name for ranch life and dubbed her Billie. She has been Billie ever since. Billie lived on the ranch with her parents, Joseph Martin and Elsa Fuglide Zeitvogel, until 1930, when the family moved to El Centro, Calif.Billie lived in El Centro with her parents until 1942, when she graduated from Central Union High School. They moved to San Diego when her father was serving in the Navy. In 1946, Billie went to work for San Diego Gas & Electric Company, where she eventually met her future husband, Kenneth Stanley Clay. They were married on June 3, 1950. Billie resigned to become a full-time homemaker, and they bought a house in La Mesa, Calif. They had three children Kenneth Joseph in 1951, Karen Suzanne in 1955 and Kirk Alan in 1961.Billie was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Ken. She is survived by her children, Ken Clay and his wife, Lora; Karen Loney and her husband, LeRoy; and Kirk Clay and his wife, Renee; grandchildren Brian Clay and his wife, Corrie; Daniel Clay and his wife, Julia; Adam Loney; Kristina Jeffers and her husband, Marcus; Eric Loney and Megan Loney; and great-grandchildren Mara Clay, Jonathan Clay, Titus Palmer-Loney and William Jeffers.Billie was an active member of the church Good Shepherd Lutheran in San Diego, St. Lukes Lutheran in La Mesa, and most recently Christ Lutheran in La Mesa. She continued to love Colorado throughout her life and visited regularly. The family had a cabin for many years on Owl Creek and later a condo in Snowmass Village.A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, March 20, at the Sally Lynn Chapel at Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego, followed by a graveside service.In lieu of flowers and in support of macular degeneration research, donations may be made in Billies name to the American Health Assistance Foundation at 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871 or ahaf.org/help/donate-now.html.


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