Orson C Clay Profile Photo
1930 Orson 2023

Orson C Clay

July 26, 1930 — May 16, 2023

Bountiful, UT

Orson C Clay, a former president and CEO of American National Insurance Company, died in Bountiful, Utah, on May 16, 2023. He was 92 years old.

Mr. Clay was born in Bountiful, Utah, on July 26, 1930, and moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, in the spring of 1938. He graduated with a business degree from Brigham Young University in 1955. He was accepted to the graduate business schools of both Harvard and Stanford, but deferred for 2 years to serve as an officer in the Marine Corps, after which he attended the Harvard Business School and graduated with distinction in 1959.

In the summer of 1959, he went to work for Continental Oil Company in Houston, Texas. It was there that he met the former Dianne Jones, who he married on June 13, 1961. They later moved to New York, Zurich, and London, with Continental Oil. In 1968, he returned to Houston, this time working for Pennzoil and, in 1970, he went to American National Insurance Company in Galveston, Texas, becoming president and CEO in 1977, where he worked until his retirement in 1996.  

His church service included a 2-year mission to Canada at age 20, continuing to many other positions of responsibility throughout his life, including being part of a stake presidency and two stints as a bishop.

He served on numerous corporate and civic boards, and on the Alumni Board and National Advisory Council for Brigham Young University. He was passionate about the ability of education to transform a person’s life and the generations that followed and, over time, he quietly paid for the college educations and church missions of dozens of people. He was a lifelong learner, an avid reader, an art collector, a supporter of the performing arts and classical music, and a world traveler, visiting more than 60 countries.

His wife of nearly 59 years predeceased him on January 6, 2020. He is survived by his children Orson Cliff Clay (Mitzi) of Spring, Texas, Charles Kenneth Clay (Jennifer) of Scarsdale, New York, Elizabeth Temple Clay (David) of Kirkland, Washington, and Glen Jeffrey Poffenbarger (Kate) of Cody, Wyoming, 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.

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