DANVILLE – Clay Alfred Niehaus, 96, of Danville passed away at 10:33 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 5, 2016) at North Logan Health Care Center in Danville.
Clay was born on March 13, 1920, the son of Charles Adam and Phronia (Bridwell) Niehaus in Evansville, Ind. He married Rebecca Maidlow, with whom he had two sons, Jeffrey and David. He later married Mary Beth Johnston, who also had two sons, Robert and William.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Niehaus of Danville; three sons; Jeffrey Niehaus of Champaign, Robert (Janet) Johnston of Scotts Valley, Calif., and William (Robertta) Johnston of San Francisco, Calif.; five grandchildren, Joshua Niehaus of Seattle, Wash., Charles Johnston (Kelli) of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Margaret Johnston of Roseville, Calif., Emily Johnston of Washington, D.C., and Lane Johnston of Lewes, Del.; and two great-grandchildren, Elsie and Spencer Johnston of Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Clay is preceded in death by his wife, Rebecca; son, David; parents; and sisters, Merle DeMoss, Iantha Wilder and Marian Herrenbruck.
Clay served in the U.S. Army from Aug. 8, 1940, until Oct. 20, 1945, and attained the rank of technical sergeant. He drove for Gen. George Patton on a few occasions and was involved in the Battle of the Bulge.
Clay was an insurance agent for the Western Southern Life Insurance Co. and retired in 1986 after 36 years as a district manager. In his free time, he loved to golf, garden and travel.
He participated in a variety of Masonic organizations and projects. Clay was the past worthy patron of Anchor Lodge and past thrice potent master of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, received his 33rd degree in the AASR and was the chairperson for the Workers Pin Project and a member of the GAO Grotto.
He was the past president of the Eastern Illinois Shrine Club and enjoyed driving children to the Shriners Hospitals. Clay was also a member of Ridgeview Baptist Church and American Legion Post 210.
Masonic rites will be conducted by Anchor Lodge 980 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center at 3940 N. Vermilion St., Danville.
Entombment will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at the Chapel Mausoleum in Sunset Memorial Park, with military rites conducted by Illinois Military Funeral Honors.
A memorial service and reception will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at Ridgeview Baptist Church, 3838 N. Vermilion St., Danville. Officiating will be Pastor Mark Keyser. Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center at 3940 N. Vermilion St., Danville, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to Ridgeview Baptist Church, Eastern Illinois Shrine Club or the American Heart Association.