Clay Gilman Colson, born February 26, 1955, died at his home in Land O’Lakes, Florida February 22, 2023. Clay was the elder son and second eldest of 7 children born to David Lyle Colson and Helen Patricia (“Patsy”) Posey. A 1973 graduate of Tampa Catholic High School, he spent his early work years as a mechanic before finding his true calling and passion – environmental/community activist. Founding member and former board chair of Pasco County Citizens for Sanity, Clay devoted himself to preserving our delicate ecosystems for future generations. Whether it was opposing unbridled development that threatened native species or working to keep our waterways unpolluted, Clay was a seemingly tireless advocate for all God’s creation. The twin themes of Peace and Justice for our world permeated all Clay’s thoughts and actions. He lived out the Old Testament prophet Micah’s understanding of what is required of each of us: “Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God”. Throughout his life, he shared his home with an endless array of dogs, cats, chickens and horses. For relaxation he enjoyed a cerebral game of chess. As much as he loved playing the game, he delighted in teaching chess at the Lutz Public Library to anyone willing to learn.
Clay was preceded in death by his parents and his nephew, Luke Colson Carlisle. He is survived by his “Irish twin” older sister, Sharon (Jack) Carlisle, sisters Pamela (Donald) Strobeck, Elaine (Rick) Powers, Melissa Colson and Trish (Jim) Amerosa, and brother, Brian (Mary) Colson; 11 nieces and nephews (Audrey Strobeck, Erin Carlisle Tighe, Jessica Strobeck Hudacko, Emily Carlisle Agarwal, Lee Strobeck, Victoria Colson, Alexis Amerosa, Dominique Amerosa, Jericho Colson, James Amerosa and Sarah Colson) and 9 great nieces and nephews (Charlie & Sammy, Audrey; Zachary & Tristan, Jessica; Molly & Maggie, Erin; Elyssa, Emily; Lilikoi & Evelyn, Lee).
A Celebration of Life is planned for Sunday, March 5, at Hungry Harry’s Lake House, 3116 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639, at 1:30 pm. Reception to follow on site.
Please plan to join the family as they honor the life of their brother and uncle.
Clay’s ashes will be scattered at a place beloved by him, Brian and their father – the Ocala National Forest Lake Delancy at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be directed to Rags to Riches Animal Rescue Inc, a 501c3 charity formed by Clay’s niece, Dominique, dedicated to the rehabilitation, rescue and adoption of abandoned/neglected creatures (VENMO: ragstorichesnanimalrescueinc; PayPal: dominiqueamerosa.