Carrie Bell Thomas Clay was the 9th child born to the late Edwin Hartwell Thomas and Carrie Bell Thomas. She departed this life on Thursday, December 9, 2011 at UTMB in the presence of her family. She was a life long resident of Galveston, Texas and a life member of the Avenue L Baptist Church. She grew up in a musical family, played the piano, and performed in various church choirs growing up.
Carrie was educated in the Galveston School District where she attended Booker T Washington Elementary School and Central High School, where she graduated in 1953. She attended Prairie View A & M University where she majored in Elementary Education and minored in Art. She also performed with the Psalms Choir to round out her college years, and graduated from Prairie View in 1957.
Carrie taught in the Galveston Independent School District for 36 years. She taught at George Washington Carver Elementary School, Rosenberg Elementary School, Parker Elementary School, and Oppe Elementary School where she retired from teaching. However, she was asked to return to the classroom as her skills as a tenured teacher were needed. She taught at Charles B. Scott Elementary School for three more years, and then retired, in her words, for good.
After retirement from the school district, she volunteered her services to the school district which spoke volumes about her lifelong commitment to children. She demonstrated this daily also through acts of service some never saw. She always let you know that she served for God in all that she did. She was also a member of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., the Cyrella Court #140, and active in many other community activities.
Carrie was a faithful member of the Avenue L, where she served in many areas of the church. In her years of service for the Lord, she served as past President and Treasurer of the Sanctuary Choir; President of the General Mission, Program Director of Missionary Society #2, Youth Department Supervisor, State Area Youth Worker, Vacation Bible School Arts & Crafts Instructor and served as a Faithful Deaconess for 40 years. She also faithfully served as church decorator for many years until she could no longer serve in that capacity.
Affectionately known as “Sitzy” to her family and friends she was a wife who was a great support to her husband, mother and grandmother who demonstrated her love for children through her tireless work to ensure their success; but more importantly that they understood only what you do for Christ will last and to always pray over any situation.
She leaves to mourn her devoted husband of fifty years, Elbert Clay; three daughters, Deatra Gills, Chanda Clay and Anita Edior; eleven grandchildren, Brittni Brown, Brenae Hardeman, Jalen White, Tabitha Gills, Nzinga Gills, Taylor Jefferson, Paul Wright, Chelsey Edior, Ashton Edior, Hillary Edior and Trevor Edior; three brothers, Lawrence and George Thomas of Houston and Paul Thomas of Dallas; siblings preceding her in death are, Ruth Hall, Sarah Tatum, Octavia Thomas, Marie Thomas, Edwin Thomas, Dunbar Thomas and James Thomas. Godchildren are Launita Robinson, Burkley Harkless Jr., Alyce Como, and numerous other relatives and friends.
Viewing will begin at 5PM on Friday, December 16th, followed by a remembrance service from 6-8PM at Avenue L Baptist Church. A service celebrating her life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 17, 2011, with Pastor E.R. Johnson officiating. She will be laid to rest in Lakeview Cemetery.