Jesse Jackson Sr., Judge Mathis Part of Clay’s Funeral
June 11, 2013 — The City of Gary says Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and Judge Greg Mathis will join the late Rudy Clay’s minister to deliver tribute to him at his funeral Wednesday. The Genesis Convention Center is the site for former Gary mayor Clay’s funeral, following his death last week at the age of 77 after experiencing cancer.
After a ceremony and prayer service 10am-6pm Tuesday at the Genesis Center, a funeral starts at 11am Wednesday for Clay, whose illness caused him to cancel his re-election bid in 2011, after serving as Gary’s mayor 2006-2011.
City of Gary Director of Communications Chelsea Whittington shared the following information with Lakeshore:
“The funeral for Mayor Clay will take place Wednesday, June 12 at the Genesis Convention Center at 11:00a.m. In addition to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Judge Greg Mathis are scheduled to give remarks. The eulogy will be delivered by the Reverend Dr. Essie Clark-George, Presiding Elder of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The public is invited to attend; however, due to the large crowd expectation, early arrival is encouraged.”
Born in Alabama in 1936, Rudolph Clay came to Gary as a child, graduating from Roosevelt High School and serving in the United States Army for two years during the Vietnam era before becoming a civil rights activist.
In 1972 he won election to the state senate and later served as Lake County recorder and Lake County commissioner before becoming mayor in 2006. He served as Gary’s mayor until 2011 when he announced he had cancer.
In 2005 Mr. Clay was elected the first African American to serve as Lake County Democratic chairman. He spent 39 years in elected office at the state, county and local level.