Dr. Clayton “Clay” Edward King died peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on July 21, 2019 in Mattapoisett, MA at the age of 83.
Clay is survived by the love of his life, and wife of nearly 58 years, Veronica “Roni” (Little) King and their three children including son Michael, his wife Elizabeth King, son Daniel King, daughter Kathy, and son-in-law Anthony Goulart, all of Mattapoisett, as well as former daughter-in-law Sandy King of Fairhaven. He was blessed with six grandchildren who brought much love and pride to his life – Andrew King and his wife Amanda of Ashland, Oregon, Matthew King, Kristen Patterson both of Fairhaven, Anna Goulart of Somerville, Megan Goulart, and James Goulart of Mattapoisett. He is preceded in death by his parents Harold and Margaret (Basque) King, and in-laws Paul and Ethel (Bowers) Little.
Clay was born on April 12,1936 in Orono, Maine. A 1955 National Honor Society graduate of New Bedford High, he was a first generation college graduate when he graduated from his beloved Providence College in 1959. He furthered his education at the University of Baltimore School of Dentistry, graduating with a DDS in 1963. It was in Maryland where he met his wife, Roni, on a blind date at the Baltimore Symphony, and the rest was a beautiful history.
He returned to Massachusetts in 1963 where he opened his dental practice on Church Street in Mattapoisett, before moving his family dental practice in partnership with Dr. Thomas Frazee to a new Mattapoisett office on Rte. 6. He was an active member and past President of the New Bedford Dental Society. Motivated by providing good affordable dental care, he had many patients for generations, and was often described as the “painless dentist”.
A loving and proud father, he was a partner with Roni in raising Mike, Dan and Kathy, and was also a very active member of the Mattapoisett community, school system and St. Anthony’s Church for over 60 years – right until his stroke in September 2013. He was an active Mattapoisett Lions Club member for 50 years, and past Presidents as well as an active member of the Knights of Columbus. Not one to sit on the sidelines, he started many new fundraising and community events from Easter Egg hunts to art auctions, Harbor Days to pancake breakfasts, and was recognized for his service with the Melvin Jones Fellow for dedicated humanitarian service in 1992 and also received commendation from the state of Massachusetts. He was part of the fabric of the community and active on the School Committee, opening the new Old Rochester Regional High School, as well as the Mattapoisett Industrial Park Committee. Clay was also a devoted member of his parish at St. Anthony’s in Mattapoisett where he served as an usher for over 50 years and chaired many couples and family events, contributing significant time and devotion.
His family and friends will remember him as a man of great character with a ready smile, laugh and contagious energy. He loved following his beloved Red Sox, Patriots and PC Friars basketball – especially when they were winning – and enjoyed taking his friends, kids and grandchildren along for a game and good time. In addition to his many trips to the grocery store and nights out in Providence, he enjoyed traveling on road trips, and, once over his fear of flying, enjoyed trips to Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
While left unable to speak and with limited mobility after his stroke, he approached life with his signature smile and enthusiasm- much in part due to the loving care he received daily from his wife, with support from family, close friends and caregivers – all of whom the family wishes to thank.
His Funeral Mass to honor his life will be celebrated on Thursday, July 25th at 11 am at St. Anthony’s Church, Mattapoisett. Visiting hours Wednesday, July 24th from 4-8 pm in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett, followed by a reception in the church hall and a private burial. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Mattapoisett Lions Club, PO Box 1022, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Anthony’s Church, PO Box 501, Mattapoisett MA 02739. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.