Richfield Retirement to Honor 90-Year-Old Chaplain for Service

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Chaplain Tom Clay
Chaplain Tom Clay

Described as a “gift from God” by one Richfield Retirement resident, Chaplain Tom Clay lives a life of service, touching the lives of Richfield residents and many others for more than 30 years. After celebrating his 90th birthday in January, Chaplain Clay has no plans to retire anytime soon.

“I have often told Chaplain Clay that he is a wonderful ambassador for Richfield,” says Robert Rector, President of Richfield Retirement Community. “He quietly works behind the scenes, but he is always visiting either residents or employees. He has a deep commitment to those that live at Richfield and seems to always have just the right Bible verse or words of encouragement that you need at that moment. His service to this community is truly appreciated.”

Serving as Richfield’s chaplain since 1971, Chaplain Clay is a comforting presence at the pulpit each Sunday, and ministers throughout the week though visits and regaling residents with stories from his own life experience through a monthly newsletter column.

 “We are a family here at Richfield and Tom has brought us all together in faith,” said Cynthia Wagner, a Richfield resident for nine years and a friend of Tom’s for almost 30 years before she passed away this year. “Tom is special because he makes a personal connection with every person he talks to and listens to all your concerns and never forgets about them.”

“I love everything about Richfield, but the biggest plus is Tom,” added Wagner, whose sentiment for Chaplain Clay is shared by her husband Dick Wagner. “He is a truly humble individual and doesn’t realize how great he really is – and maybe, that’s the key to life.”

On Friday, December 9, Richfield held a dedication ceremony for Chaplain Clay and surprised him with two stained glass windows in the chapel on campus that were dedicated to him for 30 years of service. Two of Chaplain Clay’s children attended the ceremony along with the Richfield campus.