"Clay had never had an instance where he had been in trouble due to drugs or alcohol."
- Genny Soper, Clay's Mom
Clay Soper was born and raised in Winchester, MA. Clay was 19 years old and home for the summer at the time of his accidental death. He finished a successful first year at the University of Denver and was a proud member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. On July 18, 2015, Clay went to a friend's house party. Not realizing the consequences, Clay mixed prescription drugs with alcohol. It was a lethal mixture causing his respiratory system and heart to stop. No one at the party saw it coming. No one thought Clay was in danger. They had no idea combining prescription drugs with alcohol could kill one of them.
Clay loved his family, friends, nature, skiing, and his dog Kota. He had a gift in his ability to connect with people and embrace his passion which set him apart from other kids his age. Because of these unique traits, we established the Clay Soper Memorial Fund to help motivate cultural change among young people.
Four words embody Clay's personality and describe what made Clay special: Adventure, Trust, Kindness, and Passion.
Every day was an adventure with Clay. He could find something good in everything he did. Clay made the most out of every moment and enjoyed the process.
Clay loved people. He trusted that every person he met was someone worth getting to know. Clay loved to start a conversation with a perfect stranger. An avid skier, he never sat silent while on a chairlift. By the time he reached the top, he knew his chair mate's whole story and had made a new friend.
Clay learned early on the power of kindness. He had a way of making everyone he knew feel special. He was fun, kind, and always inclusive. Clay also had an infectious smile that made everyone smile. He understood how a simple act of kindness could change a situation.
Skiing was Clay's passion. He spent his youth in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ski racing. He later followed his passion to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He was happiest on a tall mountain, enjoying deep snow and first tracks.