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Clay Wilson, active in Bethel AME Church

Sept. 1, 1937 – Nov. 19, 2015

Clay Wilson, an active member of Bethel AME Church who worked at Niagara Machine & Tool, died Thursday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 78.

Born in Memphis, Tenn., Mr. Wilson moved to Buffalo in 1955, and worked at Niagara Machine & Tool for more than 26 years. He was a member of Local 508, United Auto Workers, where he served as sergeant at arms, trustee and chairman of the civil rights committee. He also worked as a security guard at Buffalo General, and drove a cab for Fillmore Taxi.

He joined Bethel AME Church in 1980 and recently was named trustee emeritus. He served on the senior ministry, driving the church van, and was instrumental in organizing the church basketball team and Boy Scout Troop No. 59. He was a member of the Bethel Head Start Policy Committee, and volunteered with development and construction of the playground for the Head Start University Center. He also was a member of Mount Ararat Baptist Church, where he served on the usher board.

He was a union counselor for AFL-CIO Community Services from 1985 to 1990, and had been a member of the NAACP since 1975.

He is survived by his wife, the Rev. Annie Pearl; two daughters, Cynthia Wilson-Barnes and Larissa Kemp; a son, James Chambers; a brother, Willie Lee; two sisters, Lillie Mae Townes and Early Bacchus; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be conducted at 5 p.m. Friday at Bethel AME Church, 1525 Michigan Ave.