Although she has been gone for nearly two years, Carolyn “The Queen” Clay remains ever present in the hearts and minds of those who knew her. Following her 2018 death, attributed to a hard-opening main parachute, Jimmy Spronaugle, who jumped with Clay at Virginia Skydiving Center in Petersburg, discovered that the Virginia Women’s Record for Most Jumps in the State was unclaimed. He knew that Clay was well-deserving of that record. After receiving guidance from Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Chris Wagner and USPA Director of Competition Steve Hubbard, Spronaugle had Clay’s record of 16,933 jumps in the state of Virginia recorded using the date of her death: May 31, 2018. USPA sent copies of the certificate to Clay’s husband, Charles; Virginia Skydiving Center for display at the drop zone; and longtime friend Jim Crouch.
At the time of her death, Clay had made more than 19,300 jumps. She was planning to make it to 20,000 jumps, 50 years of skydiving and 70 years of age on the same date: September 7, 2020. Several of Clay’s friends now wear amulets containing her ashes and carry them during skydives to ensure she makes it to her goal, albeit posthumously. Of course, none of those jumps counted toward the official state record, but it shows just how much she is loved and missed, and why she will always be considered the Queen of Skydiving.
Jim Crouch | D-16979
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