Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Joe Clayton 1921-2012

Long time teacher and Tennis Coach, Joe Clayton, died of natural causes on March 3, 2012.
Here is his obituary as it appeared in the Everett Herald:

Joseph Thomas "Joe" Clayton
Joseph Thomas "Joe" Clayton was born to Ernest and Ruth Clayton in Cedar Creek Township, NE on May 14, 1921. The family came west to Washington State and farmed near Blackmans Lake until they moved into Snohomish, WA. 
Joe graduated from Snohomish High School, Class of 1939. 
He died of natural causes at the age of 90 on March 3, 2012 in Snohomish, after an active and full life. 
A celebration commemorating his life will be held at St John's Episcopal Church on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
He attended Central Washington College of Education (CWU) for a time, then enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942. During his World War II service, he was an Aviation Chief Radio Technician on the USS Enterprise for the first night fighter squadron of F4U Corsairs during eight campaigns in the Pacific Theater. He was honorably discharged in December of 1945. Once back at CWCE he completed his degree and returned to Snohomish to begin his thirty-five year career at Snohomish High School, teaching art, electronics and drivers' education.
Dorothy Eileen Clayton (nee` Johnston), a fellow student at CWCE, accompanied him to Snohomish after their marriage in Wallace, ID. They shared more than sixty-five years of life, love and adventures that included art, music, sports, gardening, travels and many friends that were a wonderful part of their life together. Joe and Dorothy were season ticket holders to the Seattle Symphony for over fifty years.
Joe was a man of many interests and talents, always willing to share his enthusiasms with many circles of friends, students and the community. 
His love of sports continued throughout his life. He was a collegiate tennis player, coached SHS varsity tennis for twenty-four years, and played tennis into his eighties. 
His interest in electronics included running the sound systems at SHS sporting events; he could also be found at his amateur radio 'shack', checking in as W7KGQ as he participated in Amateur Radio Relay League and amateur radio clubs. He loved going into the mountains on hiking and camping trips, especially with the Bill and Barbara Bates' family. He was an amateur astronomer and enjoyed crossword puzzles. 
He was a member of the Snohomish Lions Club for many years. Joe was a lifelong member of St. John's Episcopal Church. 
Joe will be greatly missed by his family: his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Terri (Clayton) Walker; son, Craig Clayton, Colonel, USAF (Retired) (Carol Lee); two grandsons, Daniel C. Clayton, Lt. Col, USAF, (Erica) and Ian C. Walker (Maret Wilson, fiancĂ©e); his brother, Duane Clayton (Charlotte); nephew, David Ludwig (Peg); and other family members. 
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Ina Smith.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Joe's name may be given to the Snohomish Education Foundation, www.snoed.org, or St. John's Episcopal Church, www.stjohnsnohomish.org.
The family would like to express their special thanks for the care and assistance given by Catholic Services, Providence Hospice and Merry Haven caregivers.

You can sign his guest book by clicking here.

Keith Olson gathered some other great info about this wonderful man: Picked up these sporting numbers from items on the memorabilia table at Joe Clayton's funeral. A 1939 SHS grad, Joe was a Panther tennis letterman himself and went on to play college tennis at Central Washington in addition to pulling a stint in the Navy during WWII. He coached tennis at SHS for 23 years, and up through his last season in 1970, when Joe was a finalist for Snohomish County Man of the Year, his teams had gone 119-6 in Northwest League matches while winning 11 of 13 league titles. Over one stretch, his teams won 83 consecutive league matches, and the Panthers qualified for the state tournament in nine of his last 11 seasons. Before that, his SHS teams won two Snohomish County titles and finished second six other times. Quite the coaching legacy.

Keith also provided this lovely photo of Joe Clayton and Keith Gilbertson: