Robert (Bobby) Clayton was born on Gunter Avenue in 1926 to Willie Florence Moman Clayton and Homer Woody Clayton. He was always proud to say he celebrated the same birthday as Mrs. Sam Henry, whom he lived next door to at the time of his birth. He passed away Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Mr. Clayton volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1944 with his best friend, Pete Duncan and they experienced boot camp in the Great Lakes and Gunner Training in Gulf Port, Mississippi.
Mr. Clayton was then stationed in Algiers, Louisiana and served on the Liberty ship the SS Robert L. Stevenson traveling up and down the coast passing Cuba, the Panama Canal, New Guinea and in the Philippines. On his first day in the Philippines the alarm sounded and he took his post in the gun turret. His ship was then attacked by 3 Kamikaze pilots, a memory he never forgot. Later his ship docked along side Alcatraz at midnight so the Navy Crew could be housed at Treasure Island Base in San Francisco.
In 1945, Bobby left the navy in New Orleans for Guntersville. During his trek home he lost his wallet containing his war pension (a good Samaritan mailed it to him later) he spent nights along the way with families he didn't know and was grateful to get back to his family in Alabama.
Bobby started a cafe with Geek Whitaker and also a black taxi service for the Hill for about a year. He later operated a cafe called The Grub with Ray McClendon, he ran a service station in downtown Guntersville for four years, worked with the county for six years building roads, worked for Joe Money Machinery Company selling heavy equipment for 15 years, started, a trash business in Kilpatrick for five years and started a striping/sealing business around Marshall County for six years before he sold it to retire.
Mr. Clayton was preceded in death by both parents; his sister, Mary Triss Coplin and her husband Olen C (Bookie); and his son-in-law, Lawrence Trafzer.
He is survived by five children; five grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; daughter Robbie Trafzer (Ray Carder) and grandsons Darren and Matthew (Shannon) Trafzer, great grandsons Shawn and Jeffery and great-grand daughter Zoe, daughter Judy (John) Hyde, son Homer Wayne Clayton, daughter Cindy (Mike) Gilley and graddaughter Jennifer (Chris) Helton and great granddaughters Sophie Grace and Sarah Kate, daughter Karen (Craig) Schneeberger and grandson Zack (Waverly) and great grandsons Porter and Oren, graddaughter Kaelan (Matt) Nelson and great granchildren Truett, Quinn and Murphy Nelson.
A very special thank you to his one time caregiver, Judy Sims, whom he loved like a child of his own. The staff of Barfields where Mr. Clayton lived for two years before his passing was beyond wonderful. There are not enough words to express the families appreciation for all the love and care given to "BOSS" during his stay at Barfields. The staff actually made his nursing home residency happy.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Carr Funeral Home with a private burial at Crestview Cemetery.