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Clayton (Clay) Panlaqui

Clayton Panlaqui
Clayton Panlaqui

Clayton (Clay) Panlaqui died in Hemet, CA, at 94 on November 30, 2023. He lived in Ridgecrest for over 30 years.

When he wasn’t helping his wife, Carol, investigate the natural world (he enjoyed photography) and designing systems for the Navy, he spent his time designing and building three of the homes where they lived in Ridgecrest and following his real passion: Singing.

He started singing in a church choir with his mother as a teenager and joined the Barbershop Harmony Society (or SPEBSQSA as it was formerly known) shortly after moving to China Lake in the 1950s. Though he was a natural baritone, he could sing every part from memory, which allowed many singers to learn and grow. He served as a chorus director in Ridgecrest and Palm Springs and sang almost every week of his life until 2020 when COVID-19 derailed everything. Before then, he was still singing in 3 choruses and a quartet.

His wife, Carol, passed away only a few days before him.

He leaves behind six cousins, who were more siblings than cousins, as he lived with them during WWII while his mother worked in San Francisco as a welder. He leaves behind a daughter, Lynne.