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Willard Clayton - July 30, 2012


Willard E. Clayton was born March 17, 1928 in Holyoke to Loren and Myrtle (Mitchell) Clayton. He died July 30, 2012 in Holyoke.

He attended the Lone Star country school until the eighth grade and graduated from Phillips County High School in 1946. He moved to Greeley and worked for the Denver-Boulder Bus Company while pursuing the love of his life, coed Cora Burns.

Willard and Cora were married on May 23, 1948 at the First Baptist Church of Holyoke. To this union were born two children, Patricia and Mark. Willard took great pride in being married for 64 years.

The newlyweds lived south of Haxtun on a farm. Five years later, he and Cora moved east of Holyoke where he continued to farm for the remainder of his life.

Willard served on the Phillips County Re-1J School Board for 12 years. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of First National Bank of Holyoke. He enjoyed flying after receiving his pilot’s license later in life. He was a third-generation member of the First Baptist Church of Holyoke. He also was a member of the Holyoke Lions Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Sherrlyn Clayton; and great-grandsons, Adam, Ethan and Jack Dunstan.

Willard is survived by his loving wife, Cora; sisters, Ruth McMurdy and Thelma Waln-Muncy; daughter, Patricia and husband Robert of San Antonio, Texas; son, Mark and wife Jean of Holyoke; granddaughters, Sarah Rue-Dunstan and husband Wayne of San Diego, Calif., Elizabeth Koehl and husband George of Dallas, Texas and Angela Clayton-Powell and husband Aaron of Holyoke; grandson, Justin Clayton and wife Ashley of Holyoke; great-grandchildren, Mason and Riley Powell and Levi Clayton; and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral service was held Aug. 3 at First Baptist Church in Holyoke with Pastor Gordon Penfold officiating. Interment followed at Holyoke Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice or First Baptist Church of Holyoke.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.