Services for J.W. Clayton, 85, Tyler, are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home, Tyler, with Bob Jernigan officiating and eulogies by family members.
He will be laid to rest at Liberty Hill Cemetery. J.W. went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, May 24, 2013, at his home. J.W. was born March 4, 1928, in Orange. His parents were S.E. Clayton (Saint) and Maggie Belcher Clayton.
He attended Tyler public schools and served a four-year carpenter apprenticeship under John Ledbetter. He belonged to the Local Carpenters Union No. 104. Before beginning his training as a carpenter, he worked in the motor pool during the war at Camp Fannin.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Edna Goodpasture, of Levelland.
J.W. is survived by his wife of 64 years, Helon Boucher Clayton; son, Roger Clayton and wife Lynn Curtis; daughter, Stephanie Clayton Curry and granddaughters, Macy Ann Curry and Maggie Claire Curry (his pride and joy); grandson, Trey Curtis; sisters, Doris Simpson, Tyler, Modena Jernigan, Tyler, and Olga Youzva and husband Dave, of Plano and numerous nieces and nephews.
In 1951, J.W. was called to serve in the Korean War. He was stationed in Fort Sam Houston, then on to Fort Eustes, Va. From there, he served his two-year duty in Salzberg, Austria.
On his return home, J.W. began his carpenter career once again. He never knew what an 8-, 10- or 12-hour workday was. He built rent houses and lease properties for himself and did side jobs continuously.
After a period of time, he went to work for Mack Shaw Building, Corp. as building superintendent for 28 years. When that company dissolved, he formed J.W. Clayton Metal Buildings. until his retirement. J.W. enjoyed planning and erecting buildings for Jack O'Diamonds, Teachers Credit Union, Cassity Jones, Harley-Davidson, Rose Country Tractor, United Rental, Foam Products, Microtec, Goolsbee Tire, Tyler Pipe Industries, Summit Oil, and Greenberg Turkey, to name a few.
J.W. built lease space for the Railroad Commission, Community Housing, X-Ray Express, Parks & Wildlife, Key Concrete, Temsco, Mega-Lift Machine Shop and Simpson Electric. His loving wife of 64 years always said, "He is a man made out of iron and steel."
J.W. has enjoyed owning and inheriting many areas in the city of Tyler previously owned by his grandfather, Robert Belcher, where many of the streets are named from the Belcher heirs.
His greatest pride and joy has been beautifying his homeplace, previously owned by his grandfather, Joseph Clayton. J.W. rebuilt and designed a brick home and carport to accommodate family and friends on many family occasions and holidays. One of his great accomplishments included engineering five ponds and a concrete pier extending out into the larger pond. A beautiful place for all family and friends to enjoy.
J.W. was a lifelong member and board member of Liberty Hill Community Church and ground chairman of Liberty Hill Cemetery. He recently replaced the steeple that was damaged by wind on the more than 100-year-old church of which his Belcher ancestors were some of the founding members.
J.W. loved and was loved by his family and numerous friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Pallbearers will be Jimmy Fonfara, Rick Harvey, Butch McMichael, Maurice Potts, Clay Simpson and Toby Simpson.
Honorary pallbearers are Vern Broadus, Percy Garner, John Grigsby, Scott Goolsbee, James Jureski, Richard Kyles, Otis Tate and Trent Tate.
The family will receive friends at Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday. Memorials may be made to Liberty Hill Cemetery or Liberty Hill Community Church, 4456 FM 2767, Tyler, 75708-7620.; or The Clayton Cemetery, c/o Timothy M. Clayton, 5434 Wakefield Drive South, Greenwood, Ind. 46142-9089.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on May 26, 2013