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Rita Marie Clay

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at Hathorn Funeral Home in Columbia for Rita Marie Clay, 75 of Columbia, who passed away on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at Forrest General Hospital.  Dr. Bryant Barnes will officiate.  Visitation will be held from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at Hathorn Funeral Home in Columbia.
Rita was born to Lola and James Vardaman Clay on November 26, 1942 in Meridian.  She was the fourth of seven children and spent her early years in Collinsville. Later she lived in Jackson, Crystal Springs and Columbia.
A retired postal worker, Rita had the gift of gab and made lasting friendships everywhere she lived.  She was a member of First Baptist Church in Columbia.  She was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time with her many friends and family especially her grands and great grands who were the joy of her life.  Her lively conversation and zest for life will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lola and James Vardaman Clay; one brother, Larry Clay; one sister, Willie Gallagher; and her beloved dog, Ben.
She is survived by one daughter, Marie Shepard (Jack) of Columbia; one son, Michael Harwell (April) of Pearl; three brothers, Ron Clay (Henrietta) of Brandon, Hubert Clay of Chicago, IL, and Ike Clay (Lana) of Water Valley; one sister, Virginia Alawine (Jean) of Meridian; six grandchildren, Jace Harwell (Brittany), Andrew Harwell (Lauren), Elizabeth Anderson (Marcus), Michael Anderson (Sarah), Jack C. Shepard (Leigh Anne), and Robert Shepard; Five great grandchildren, Thomas Jack Shepard, Sawyer Jane Shepard, Landyn Reid Anderson, Hadley James Harwell, and Harrison Anthony Harwell; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends; and her three cats, Sweetie Pie, Baby, and Crazy.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Columbia Animal Shelter at 177 Airport Road, Columbia, MS 39429.
Hathorn Funeral Home in Columbia is in charge of the arrangements.  Family and friends may sign an online guestbook at www/