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Clay, Keisha A.

Clay, Keisha A.

December 19, 1984 — June 19, 2019

Keisha Archelle Clay, loving and cherished daughter, lived in Overland Park, Kansas, and passed away on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at the age of 34. Keisha was born on December 19, 1984 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Carla and Lawrence Clay, and became the beloved daughter (and aka princess as she referred) to Frank Smocks in 1998. Keisha graduated from St. Teresa’s Academy in 2003 after a fun and spirit filled high school journey where she excelled in leadership, spirit and dance. She was a four-year dance team member of the St. Teresa Stars and ended as captain of the talented team earning many awards. Keisha loved and excelled in dance from her early years as a dancer beginning at age three. She was shining from the very start and auditioned and became part of the elite dance team at Monica’s School of dance. She spent over ten years with her dance mates and participated and earned honors in numerous dance competitions over the nation and auditioned and performed in the musical Grease at Starlight Theater. During those years she also participated in pageants earning awards and recognition. She won the Little Miss AKA pageant in 1995 where she stole the stage with her talented dance earning her the title of Ms. Talent; her poised presence and response to the questions from the judges; her overall participation points and her beautiful smiling personality. Keisha was very bright, intelligent and well rounded. After graduation from high school she attended Saint Louis University earning her degree in Communication and African American Studies. During the summers of college, she attended the Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm of the late Alex Haley for Freedom School training. She was a classroom leader for Freedom School where many children at Palestine Baptist church loved her dearly. During her college years, her brightness earned her internships with the Saint Louis Rams, YMCA and Unique Inc. where she has published work in Who’s Who in Saint Louis. Her love for children and her strong social justice desire led her to work at the Boys and Girls Club after college and an internship with Saint Paul Episcopal Day school as an External Relations Coordinator. During her time at Boys and Girls Club she was the Development and External Affairs Specialist and later became the Director of AmeriCorps Program. Keisha earned her Master’s Degree from Park University in Public Affairs and Government Relations and went directly to work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She served the FAA as an Executive Services Analyst, Congressional Liaison and Business Coordinator. Keisha excelled in her work at the FAA earning her competitive selection for the Program for Emerging Leaders. She was a cohort group of ten selected from around the nation to represent the future leaders of the FAA and graduated from the two-year program in 2017. She was also is part of the Federal Executive Board’s Young Government Leaders Program. Keisha was known in the workplace as talented, bright light and kind personality. Keisha’s love for children led her to the staff position at Church of the Resurrection (COR) as the Early Childhood Praise and Worship Coordinator where she worked part-time. She was affectionately known and loved as “Ms. Keisha” by many children at KIDSCOR. All around Overland Park she would run into KIDSCOR children who would excitedly call out “Ms. Keisha” when they saw her around the neighborhoods and city. Prior to this position at COR she served as leader of Propel study and care group for teenagers. Keisha was shaped for ministry and care and was very active around COR serving as a Community Care Minister (CCM) and volunteering in numerous initiatives for COR. Keisha was selected to be a group of leaders Pastor Adam Hamilton took to the Holy Land in 2018 as he sought to pour into the future leaders of the church. She deeply loved COR and built a wide spread diverse community. Keisha’s passion for children led her to the position of Board Member for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Red Shoe Society. Keisha passionately served as board member and led communications. She loved volunteering and sharing in the mission, working with the families and inspiring others to give back. Taken from her own writing about herself, Keisha has a passion for life, family, friends, trying new food, traveling, spin classes, singing and dancing with the kids in KIDSCOR, enjoying life as much as possible and sports as an avid Royals fan. Keisha was known as a socialite and spent her spare time with her many loved friends. Keisha is survived by her loving parents Carla and Frank Smocks and Lawrence Clay and Tammy Pratt; her cherished cousin and stand in sister ToneNae Bradley; grandparents Joe and Ernestine King, Georgia and Frank Smocks; step brothers and sisters Darren and Taylor Clay; Ortez and Avery Smocks; aunts Donna King, Hazel Clay; Brenda Byers, Kiema King and Kayla Brown; uncle Marvin Bradley; godmother Lorean Pleasant and a host of other relatives and friends. Celebration of Keisha’s life will be at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Avenue in Leawood, Kansas, June 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm and visitation beginning at 12:00 pm. Keisha’s final resting place on this earth will be at COR Memorial Garden.

Memorial donations can be made to: Ronald McDonald House, Red Shoe Society and Church of the Resurrection, KiDS COR Ministry, in memory of Keisha Clay, 13720 Roe, Leawood, KS 66224.

Service Information

Visitation 12PM, service 2PM, Thursday, June 27 at Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave.

Clay, Keisha A.'s Guestbook

To the family I would like to express my deepest sympathy, I was Keisha's FAA Program for Emerging Leadership development facilitator and knew her well. Keisha was a very good person and is going to be truly missed. I was shock to hear about her passing, we would speak through text messages occasionally and she would let me know how she was doing. I pray comfort to the family and for them to know how much of a reach Keisha had on this world.

Michael Ellis

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8 Keisha is truly an Angel in the presence out our Lord.

The Kizine-Johnson Family

To The Bradley family I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Keisha. May God give you comfort and strength during this difficult time. Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.❤

LaVerne Jackson

Keisha had such a sweet spirit and she was always smiling. She was living her best life but we comfort in knowing she is resting safely in HIS arms. We will continue to pray with and for her family. Lee Family

Michael and La Nosha Lee

What an amazing friend to SO many! I believe she’s taught me a lot and we’ve shared some good laughs and good times together. She’s with God and in heaven and in that we can find comfort. Until we reunite, Keisha, rest easy, friend ❤️

Alesha Miller

My daughter loved Praise & Worship with Ms. Keisha. Violet would always run up to her and give her a big hug in the hallway. I am so grateful that my daughter was blessed by Keisha and for how she helped spread the love of the lord with her little heart. Praying for all of you who are missing her greatly. God Bless, Crystal Lewis

Crystal Lewis

Carla, Words cannot express how sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful, sweet daughter. My prayers are with you and your family. She was a beautiful girl, inside and out. She will be dearly missed. May God give you peace in this time of sorrow. Love, Eulise

Eulise Gholston

To my sweet cousin Keisha! It's hard to believe you are gone. It's not like we hung out but I miss you. When you were spoke of or I seen you at family events I often thought, she got her stuff together! Which you can't say about many young people today. Thanks for being a beautiful you!

Nikki Cross

I met Keisha in 2018, during our trip to the Holy Land. What a shining light she was! I will be forever grateful that I met Keisha and got to know her. I will miss her very much! RIP Keisha. 🙏

Mark Hamilton

My heart, love and prayers to my KC family. Carla, the angel you gave us phsycially will now, eternally and spiritually, walk with and within you forever. Thank you for Keisha. Her life is a blessing and inspiration to us all. I love you family.

Danielle Robinson

My sincere condolences to Keisha's family, I was devastated to hear of her passing. We sat next to each other in the office, and though I don't spend a lot of time there with travel and telework I always looked forward to being around her and working together on projects. On "bring your child to work day" she loved seeing my son Silas and always asked how her little buddy was doing. He always said that she was so nice and he always talked about how she would take time to chat with him. Keisha was such an amazing young woman, and will be missed immensely.

Brian S. Hand

I met Keisha while working for the FTA Region 7 Office in KCMO. Upon meeting her, I was highly impressed by her intelligence and professionalism. She always had a pleasant smile and kind words. She will be sorely missed. Praying for peace for her family and her mom, with whom I also had the pleasure to know.

Alfreda Lewis

I sit and read this Beautiful Obituary, Keisha lived a full life, and accomplished so much while here on earth.Wow what a beautiful person my niece was I'm filled with heart and sorry,however as I read this glad she had a chance to do the things she wanted to accomplish, as her mom said she was Fearless.As days, Months, years, pass gives me comfort to know she is with our Father in heaven a fearless Angel. Rest well princess .

Angela Bradley

Carla thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with me. She meant a lot to me. I would smile from ear to ear when she called me "Mama Pam." She was a God fearing young lady. This time is hard to understand but Proverbs 3:5-6 will help get you through. Rest Keisha cause I know where are safe in God's arms. Love much!

Pam McKinney

Keisha was such a sweet girl and blossomed into an amazing young woman. It's remarkable how she touched so many and made so many meaningful contributions to the lives of young people and communities local and abroad. 34 years young. Carla, Lorean, and all who loved Keisha, I am keeping you in prayer.

Nancy Tillmon

Keisha was an incredibly beautiful daughter of God who loved life and the people who crossed her path. She will be missed and my hope is that the beautiful memories that her family and friends have of her will carry them through this difficult period of grief. May God Bless you and cover you in his peace. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Pam Rusk

It was a pleasure to meet Ms Keisha through her wonderful mother Carla. Keisha life is her testimony and legacy for many to glean from. May the peace and presence of God rest with the family for comfort and strength. Carla, Frank and family you are in my prayers and thoughts.

Yolanda Nero

Keshia Clay had a smile that could light up this entire universe! My God's grace comfort your family during this difficult time..

Charles Grady

My heart is so sadden. My heart goes out to keishas mother and father's and family and friends. May God put his loving arms around around those that knew her and that are grieving. I love you guys and i'll miss her dearly. We send our deepest condolences from your family in seattle.

Paula Davis Horstead

We will miss you Keisha but we know that you are with our heavenly father. Because he told us so In Luke 23:43

Jessie & Carla Ford

What a Beautiful and Caring young lady. Keisha was always wonderful to talk with and she hosted the best personality that anyone could ever want to be around! I was so sorry to hear of her passing, as I read an email at work. To her family, My sincere condolences for your lose of Keisha here on Earth. She will blend very well in Heaven! The Hands of God will cup her forever!

Marvin Moore

I met Keisha in 2015 and had an opportunity to work with her on a committee here at work. She had such a sweet spirit, great smile, and was always willing to help. I am certainly going to miss our cafeteria chats and our passing jokes. My heart and prayers go out to her family and friends as we all cherish the found memories shared. <3

Christi Horton

This precious life of Keshia Clay will touch many and teach us...and do not be conformed to this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Patricia Diggs

The world has lost a bright light. Keisha brought joy, compassion, and laughter to the St. Teresa’s Community and my life. Her family and friends will remain in my thoughts and heart. Her star continues to shine in those who knew and loved her.

Katie Dolan

Keisha, a former member of our Sunday School Class at Palestine Missionary Baptist Church, by the grace of God, lived a life that reflected her understanding and acceptance of the fact that she was "God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance" (Ep 2:10) for His glory! We miss her and we will see her again!

Lillie Robinson

I am so sorry for your loss. We just recently had the opportunity to interact with Keisha at COR. She was amazingly kind and encouraging. I pray her family feels the reassurance, comfort and peace of God now and always.

Maggie Book

We're so sorry to hear this sad news of Lakeisha. In this sorrowful time, may the love of God heal and comfort you Isaiah 41:10


My the grace of God comfort your family at this difficult time. With My Deepest Sympathy, Antionette

Antionette Clayton

Even though I only knew her for a short time, her smile, kind words and her gentle nature made a life long impact on me. I was sadden to hear about her passing. When truly good people die, we often struggle with the wisdom of God’s plan but we can find peace and rest assured that we will see her again.

Anthony Jappa

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