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Claude Clayton

September 3, 1921 February 4, 2019
Claude Clayton
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Obituary for Claude Clayton

Claude Clayton, age 97, passed away at his home surrounded by family on February 4, 2019. He had been under hospice care battling stomach cancer for the last seven months. He was born on September 3, 1921 to parents William Mack Neal Clayton and Martha (Jones) Clayton in Adair, Oklahoma. He grew up on farms in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Claude was inducted into the US Army on October 31, 1942. After training in the United States, England, France, Belgium, and Holland, he was assigned to the 4th Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 405th Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division in Germany. He served as a combat infantryman and leader of a 6-man 60 millimeter mortar squad. The 102nd Infantry Division was credited with 173 days of direct contact with enemy forces during World War (WW) II. Sergeant Clayton’s leadership, professionalism, and heroic actions resulted in him being awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with German clasp, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Honorable Service lapel button. Sergeant Clayton was honorably discharged from the US Army at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas on February 16, 1946.

Claude obtained employment as a plumber upon returning to Pryor after his military service and was soon regarded as a highly skilled tradesman. He plumbed approximately one hundred new homes and made thousands of service calls in Pryor and the surrounding area during a career that spanned over four decades. He married Vera Ophelia Jones on June 14, 1947 and they raised four children. Claude purchased his father’s 120-acre farm in 1958. He raised a variety of crops and cattle on the farm, operated a dairy for several years, and always had a big garden. Vera canned a lot of the vegetables and had a recipe for sauerkraut that everyone in the family loved. Claude retired from being a farmer and plumber in 1993 at age 72. He sold the farm and moved to town, but still insisted on having a big garden; he was well known for his tomatoes. Vera died unexpectedly on September 8, 2008 at age 88; they were happily married for 61 years.

On November 12, 2018, the mayor of Pryor, Oklahoma identified the first three citizens of Pryor to be inducted into the recently established Hall of Fame. Claude was very proud to be one of the individuals recognized.
Claude was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, four sisters, and daughter Claudine. He is survived by two sons, H. Kirby Clayton and wife Nannette of Pryor and Mack W. Clayton and wife Paula of Edmond, OK; daughter Collene Dinsmore and husband Bill of Pryor; eleven grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren.

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6:00 PM 2/7/2019 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 2/7/2019 8:00:00 PM
Stephens-Key Funeral & Cremation Care

1525 NE First Street
Pryor, OK 74361

Stephens-Key Funeral & Cremation Care
1525 NE First Street Pryor 74361 OK
United States





2:00 PM 2/8/2019 2:00:00 PM
First Christian/Presbyterian Church

301 NE 1st
Pryor, OK 74361

First Christian/Presbyterian Church
301 NE 1st Pryor 74361 OK
United States

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