In Memory of Clara Hays





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Clara Hays

Clara (Clare, Ethel) Hays passed away peacefully on September 6, 2020 at age 93 with her devoted daughter Alene P. Smith close to her in Orlando, Florida. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1926 to Clara Jenkins and Howard Buffington. She attended Woodrow Wilson High School. Worked at a button factory and a book bindery in Philadelphia during WWII. One of her bosses called her the little English girl. Clara also worked in Retail Sales and Management for Kmart Department Store (formally Grants Department Store) in Glassboro, NJ in the 1960's and 1970's an working her way up to a valued management position from a saleswoman. She raised her seven children in Pitman, NJ.; then, moved to Lompoc California, Green Valley, Arizona, and to Orlando, Florida for her final years. She always put family first and loved her family dearly. She was a loving mother and her family was her world. She was a hard worker when it came to caring for her sisters and brothers, then all seven of her children. She was once told that she had the cleanliest and neatly dressed children in the school. She loved to travel and visited most of the states in the U.S. throughout her life. She was preceded by her husbands, Alfred L. Smith, Sr., Jack Marker and lastly Gilbert G. Hays. She was also preceded by her brothers William, Howard and George Buffington, her sisters Jessie Dowdney and Florence Amey and her 2 sons, Leon P. Smith and Alfred Leigh Smith Jr. She is survived by her two sisters, Cecelia Seigrist and Kathy Wita, her 5 daughters: Judith A. Kenney, Merilyn J. Crowthers, Carole L. Hoke, Susan E. Tiley and Alene P. Smith, 12 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren and one more on the way. A Viewing will be held on Tuesday, September from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM and Wednesday after 10am in the Kelley Funeral Home, 125 Pitman Ave, Pitman, NJ. Funeral Service will be 11am Wednesday. Interment Woodbury Memorial Park. Memories may be shared at www.kelleyfhpitman.com.