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Isabel Clay
Funeral Time: Tuesday, August 9th at 10:30AM
Isabel Perkins McHenry Clay, 87, known affectionately as “Cissy”, passed away peacefully on July 2, 2022. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of William Cecil McHenry and Louise Perkins. Her education included study at the Master’s School, Dobbs Ferry, New York and Pine Manor College outside Boston, where she first discovered her love of art history. Her father’s Kentucky connections led to Louisville visits where she met George Norton Clay whom she married on August 25, 1962. After her marriage she and Norton took up residence in his hometown, Paris, Kentucky where she became deeply involved in local civic, cultural and spiritual activities. She served as senior warden of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, advised the Bluegrass Area Development District and was a devoted and inspirational participant in the former University of Kentucky Art Museum docent program. Cissy, at 50, began painting what she called “squiggles and dots”. She travelled all over learning and perfecting watercolor technique however is most known for her boxes hand painted with acrylics. She cultivated a wildflower garden surrounding a koi pond behind her home, The Larches, where she entertained family and friends, and which she could see from the windows of her sun porch where, in later years, she sat patiently, working the most challenging jig saw puzzles. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Anson Taylor, Norton, her husband of 31 years, and a daughter Elizabeth Cecil Clay. Left to cherish her memory are her surviving children George W. N. Clay and Marnie Clay Holoubek as well as her brother Barnabas, her sister Audie McLean, her son-in-law Ronald Dean Smith and her adored grandchildren Allison and Katherine Holoubek, and Dean Norton Smith. A service of remembrance will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 311 High Street, Paris, on August 9 at 10:30, preceded by visitation beginning at 9:30. In lieu of flowers donations to the Paris Animal Welfare Society or Bluegrass Care Navigators are suggested.