Clay Stratton Holden, a 48-year resident of Palos Verdes Estates, California, passed away peacefully at his home on February 14 following a long illness, with family members by his side.

Clay was born March 2, 1929 in New York City, the son of Anne Stratton Holden and Thomas Steele Holden. He grew up in Darien, Connecticut where, with his many friends, he enjoyed a happy childhood playing tennis, sailing and swimming at the Noroton Yacht Club, ice skating and ice hockey on Gorham Pond and dances at Tokeneke Club.

After graduating from Solebury School in New Hope, Pennsylvania, he attended the University of Texas, becoming a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. His education was interrupted by four years served in the U. S. Air Force, much of that time as a link instructor. It was during this time that he married the former Miriam (Mickey) Fitting. Both returned to Darien and attended Columbia University, where Clay received a B. S. in Business Administration.

Most of Clay’s business years were spent with Rheinhold Publishing Company, later Centcom, Ltd. He retired as Vice President in 1991. During his retirement years, he enjoyed gardening, traveling, and spending time at his vacation home in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he had strong ties dating from his youth.

Clay is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years and by his daughters Leslie Anne Holden and Kimberly Stratton Holden of Sun Valley, Idaho. Other survivors include six grandchildren: Holden and Caroline Persohn, and Taylor, Britton, Paige and Stratton Stevenson.

Clay had a young spirit and will be remembered above all for his friendly personality. He made friends easily and had an ability to find a connection with everyone he met. He loved being with people and hosting social events. Nobody loved a party more, told a better story, or had a better sense of humor.

A celebration of his life is planned at a later date in Palos Verdes Estates and a service this summer in Darien. Clay will be interred with his parents in New Canaan, Connecticut.

— by the Family