Clay Spencer Suffers Heart Attack

Email from Bob Patrick:

Hi Dale.  You might get this on the web site and out to the group.  Some will know Clay, many not, but he is one of the most important people in the modern blacksmithing movement.  I’ve known him since the late 70’s or early 80’s.  A long time.  Maybe middle 70’s.  Anyhow.  I hope and pray he has a great surgeon and a speedy recovery.  In addition to blacksmithing Clay was a big part of the Space Program.  He was also a champion whitewater kayaker in his younger days, and though he has had some health problems in more recent years he is a tough man.  He headed the blacksmithing program at John C. Campbell Folk School for many years and had done workshops on a number of subjects all over North America. And, of course, he was on the ABANA Board for many years.
Begin forwarded message:

From: “Jim and MARLENE johnston” <>
Date: July 2, 2014 3:45:14 PM CDT
To: “‘Les H. Stanley'” <>
Subject: Fw: Still in surgery-Re: Update re Clay Spencer

—– Original Message —–
To: Farrel L. Wells ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Keith Hicks ;
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 12:48 PM
Subject: Fw: Still in surgery-Re: Update re Clay Spencer

I am not sure if you are on the distribution list.  Clay Spencer has suffered a heart attack and is currently in surgery.

Bill Kendrick
ph:  812-344-1021
—– Forwarded by Bill D Kendrick/Auto/Cummins on 07/02/2014 12:44 PM —–

From:        Sandra &/or Ron Nichols <>
To:        <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
Date:        07/02/2014 12:35 PM
Subject:        Fw: Still in surgery-Re: Update re Clay Spencer

From: Editor
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 11:18 AM
To: Sandra &/or Ron Nichols
Subject: Still in surgery-Re: Update re Clay Spencer

Hi Everyone,

11am Wed 7/2

Just spoke to Clay’s wife Jackie. She says surgery started a little late, he may be in there a couple more hours.

Last night they were saying maybe a double bypass but nothing definite till today.

Jackie would like everything to come through Allan or me to update everyone else. Too many calls are hard on her but she appreciates you all being concerned.

She will call me when they know something and I will let you know via email.

Clay has limited capacity for up to 5 days after surgery so probably no visitors. Plan your visits for next week and beyond.

Email Clay and let him know you are thinking of him. He will get emails in a day or two (when the drugs wear off).


On Jul 1, 2014, at 6:54 PM, “Sandra &/or Ron Nichols” <> wrote:

Please see latest news below. –Ron

From: Allison Bohorfoush
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2014 6:33 PM
To: Sandra &/or Ron Nichols
Subject: Re: Clay Spencer

Surgery is moved to 5am tomorrow. On our way to see him now.

On Jul 1, 2014, at 5:42 PM, “Sandra &/or Ron Nichols” <> wrote:

Hi to All,

Clay called me late yesterday afternoon to say he’d had a heart attack over the weekend.  He is fine right now, in Huntsville Hospital, Room #1649.  I understand he will undergo open heart surgery after the Fourth Holiday.  Y’all might already know this but I just wanted to share.

Ron Nichols


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