Raley, C. Clarke "Judge"
Birth: Saturday, January 09, 1943
Residence: California, MD
Death: Saturday, January 16, 2021 at the age of 78
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The Honorable C. Clarke "Judge" Raley, 78 of California, MD passed away peacefully at his home on January 16th, 2021 surrounded by his beloved family.
Clarke was a lifelong resident of St. Mary's County and served this community in a legal capacity for over 40 years. He was born on January 9th, 1943 in Washington DC to Charles Emmerick Raley, and Wilma Jean Raley. Clarke was one of three brothers, he attended St. Michael's school and later graduated from Ryken High School in 1960. Clarke met his high school sweetheart Barbara Ann Puchetti, of Piney Point, MD on the school bus. Clarke and Barbara married in 1961, while Clarke went to the University of MD and he obtained his Bachelor's degree in 1964. During this time, Clarke and Barbara had two children, Charles Christian and Jeanne Marie Raley. Clarke continued his education and obtained his law degree from the University of MD School of Law in 1968. Immediately following law school, Clarke landed a position at Ober, Grimes and Shriver Law Firm. He was very proud of this accomplishment and worked there from 1968-1969. Clarke and Barbara decided to move their young family back to St. Mary's County where Clarke went into private practice in 1969 and worked as a lawyer until 1974. Clarke and Barbara had their 3rd child, Heather Clarke in 1971. Clarke obtained the position of Assistant States Attorney from 1974-1978, then served as the St. Mary's County State's Attorney 1981-1982 before being appointed to the District Court of MD as Associate Judge from 1983-1998. In 1998, Clarke was appointed as an Associate Judge for the St. Mary's County Circuit Court where he served until his retirement in 2011. The "Judge" was known for being fair and reasonable but tough on crime, a no nonsense kind of person who ran an efficient courtroom.
Clarke loved everything outdoors; he could often be found on the course at the Breton Bay Golf & Country Club where he regularly played in the Men's Association "Blitz" and traveled with the group to visit many courses on the east coast such as Pinehurst. He became an accomplished golfer and was proud of his handicap and the many awards he received as a result of his steady play. Most of all, he enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow golfers. In his earlier years, as a young teenager he enjoyed working on and racing cars. He was a member of the Triangle Rod and Custom Club. He enjoyed horseback riding where he and Barbara were members of the De La Brooke Foxhounds W fox hunt club. Clarke and Barbara owned horses, where they lived on Tower Hill Road with their family for twenty years. As the children grew older, Clarke and Barbra turned their passion to sailing. They were members of the Southern Maryland Sailing Association, and participated weekly in the Wednesday night sailboat races, the Governor's Cup, and many other memorable races. They loved being on the water so much they ended up buying property on the Patuxent River. Through Clarke's love of being on the water, he again found peace and solidarity in fly fishing. He even made his own flies and could be seen on the bulkhead next to their home casting in hopes of landing a trophy rockfish. He enjoyed trips with Capt. Brady Bounds, honing his casting and searching for the best places to fish.
Clarke took great pride in his home, always tinkering with some project for the house, even where he designed and constructed additional living and storage space. Although he had many hobbies he also enjoyed to travel and some of his favorite places were Martha's Vineyard, New York City, Italy and St. Bart's but his most favorite place of all was his home in St. Mary's County. After a hard days' work he would come home, sit in his lawn chair overlooking the water, crack a cold Miller High Life and admire the boat traffic with his faithful wife of 59 years, and his dog Trap by his side. Clarke was hard working, dependable, trustworthy, honest and fair. He handled his personal life much like his professional life. He built a strong foundation for his family that one could always count on; one of trust, stability, honor, strength, and love.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara and three children; C. Christian Raley (Nancy) of Hollywood, MD; Jeanne Marie Christensen (David) of Pensacola, Florida; and Heather Raley Alton (Danny) of Drayden, MD. His sibling, L.G. Raley (Merrie-Ruth); 7 grandchildren; C. Christian Raley, Jr (Julia); Catherine Raley, Alexandra Christensen, Ben Raley, Zachary Perkins, Noah Perkins, Sam Alton, and Colin Perkins. He is survived by three great grandchildren; Tripp Raley, Aalayah Christensen, and Austin Raley; and many extended family and friends. Clarke was also preceded in death by his youngest brother John Wayne Raley.
Memorial contributions can be made in Clarke's name to the Hospice of St. Mary's, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
The Memorial Service may be viewed via live stream at: C. Clarke Raley