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ELKHART — Bessie M. Clay, 94, of Elkhart, passed away Tuesday morning, Oct. 23, 2018, at her home.
She was born Bessie Margaret Readout, to Benjamin Harrison and Trena (Koch) Readout, in Buchanan County, Iowa, on July 14, 1924.
Bessie married Ora L. Clay on Aug. 23, 1956, in Eldora, Iowa. They shared 48 wedded years together before his passing in 2004.
Bessie is survived by her daughter, Bettena (Jim) Porter of Bristol; and her children; Michelle Vest, Amanda Watson, and Benjamin Porter, and Loretta (Rodney) Tilford of Elkhart; and their daughter, Trena (Kyle) Trowbridge.
Bessie also had seven great-grandchildren.
Among those family waiting with Ora to celebrate her home is her much loved mother, father, four brothers Harold, Clifford, Arthur and Ervin; a sister, Ellen Readout; stepdaughter Sharie M. Clay; stepson Laurel Clay; grandson Randy C. Tilford; and a stepgranddaughter, Dawn.
Bessie was exceptionally talented in and enjoyed being a homemaker, seamstress, listener, traveling with Ora in the motor home, and enjoyed crocheting and cross-stitching.
Friends and family may gather from 5 - 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St., Elkhart, where funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, with additional visitation one hour prior to services.
Pastor John Hollis will officiate.
Burial will follow in Prairie Street Cemetery.
Bessie’s family kindly requests memorial donations to Heartstring Sisters, C/O Retreat Women’s Health Center, 1135 Professional Drive, Goshen, IN 46526.