Stephen John Van Clay, Jr., of 313 East Patterson Place, Chapel Hill, North Carolina died peacefully at UNC Hospital Wednesday, October 30, after complications from heart failure. He would have been 91 on November 25.
Stephen Van Clay was an ethical man of the old school. He believed that quality service to his customers was his highest business calling. He played by the rules and expected others to do the same. He believed in hard work and stayed highly engaged his entire life, even doing house repairs and laying patios deep into his 80s. He formed many long and sustaining friendships and was intensely loyal and generous to his family.
He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, graduated from the University of Illinois and served in the Naval Air Corp during World War II, earning the coveted wings of a flight instructor. His post-war occupation was initially in television sales for Motorola before he moved to Time Container, after which launched his business career in corrugated packaging. He eventually formed his own company, Packaging Design, which he ran successfully until his retirement in 1990.
Upon his retirement, he relocated with his wife, Shirley, to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he became an avid racquetball and bocce player, a regular attendee of Duke University’s courses for retirees and a loyal Tar Heels basketball follower.
Stephen Van Clay is survived by his wife of 67 years, Shirley Adams Van Clay, three sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren.
From Illinois roots to Carolina blossoms.