George Clinton “Clint” Shay

George Clinton “Clint” Shay, 98, of 115 Retirement Drive, Hardy, VA passed away on September 30, 2020.  Born on March 19, 1922 to Ralph C. Shay and May I. Shay in East Orange, NJ.  Clint graduated from Madison High School in Madison NJ. 


Clint had a legendary engineering career.  He was educated as a mechanical engineer, BS ’44 Stevens Institute of Technology, MS ’48 Lehigh. Clint served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, worked in a family engineering business, and was a professor at Lehigh, before joining Corning Glass Works in 1955. 


In the late 50s, Clint was put in charge of an effort to develop a revolutionary glass sheet forming process. Clint would become the co-inventor of “Fusion” process – patented in 1964. He would lead fusion’s development through his career. In retirement, Clint served as a technical consultant until he was 95 – and has made major contributions to technology advancements as well new innovations in research.


Fusion would prove to be optimal for making glass sheet for liquid crystal displays (LCD), televisions, monitors, laptops, and smartphones, along with Gorilla® Glass, a tough mobile electronic cover glass, and other advanced display glasses. It has been estimated that over 75% of the world’s LCD displays are manufactured on the fusion process that Clint invented and championed. 


Within Corning Incorporated, Clint’s extraordinary achievements continue to be celebrated.  Last year, the company published a history book, which highlighted Clint’s contributions in leading fusion and the world-changing impact of the LCD products it enabled. Clint was a beloved mentor within Corning – many who annually joined together to honor him on his birthday. 


Clint’s achievements were recognized globally in 2014 when he was named as the International Glass Industry’s, “Person of the Year.” The prestigious Phoenix Award was presented at a gala affair at Hotel Roanoke. 


In 1984 Clint and his wife moved to the SML area and established the Holland-Duncan House, bed and breakfast which later made the national and state Historical Registry.  Clint was a member of the Resurrection Catholic Church since its founding.  He was a faithful member there with his wife Kathryn.  They formed many close friendships with other members of that congregation, were involved with many fund-raising events for the church and American Cancer Society, Discovery Shop at SML.  


Clint is survived by his daughter, Lucinda S Justice of Los Angeles CA; five grandchildren: Jeffrey P Marshall of Milford, NH; Eric C Merola of Santa Monica, CA; Peter J Merola of Los Angeles, CA; Patrick Downey of Pawtucket, RI; Michael C Shay of Winston-Salem, NC and Taylor M Shay of Mims, FL. He had four great grandchildren and seven nieces and nephews.  Preceding him in death are three children: Deborah S Downey of Mason, NH; Robert C Shay of Winston-Salem, NC and Stephen B Shay of Chatham, VA; Also preceding him in death are his wife, Kathryn B Shay of Hardy, VA and his grandson Thomas M Downey of Buffalo, NY.


Clint will be sadly missed by his family and adoring friends around the world.


In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to Lake Christian Ministies:


Due to COVID19 a memorial is planned for the spring, near his birthday in March. A funeral mass will be held via live streaming on Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. 


To send online condolences and to attend via live streaming, please see details at Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford, is assisting the family.

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