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News 04/17/2024
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Wayne Charles Clayton 

1946 - 2020
Wayne Charles Clayton, 74, of Hibbard, passed away Sunday, November 1, 2020, at EIRMC.

Wayne was born in Price, Utah, on August 12, 1946, the fourth child of Don Carlos and Eva Gines Clayton.

Soon after Wayne's 9th birthday, his mother died of a heart attack. This was a challenging time for him and his family.

Wayne's father married Ellen McConkie in 1957, and they had three more children together. Ellen became Wayne's a second mother; he grew to love her and his half siblings deeply.

Wayne graduated from Bountiful High School in 1964 and served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the North German/Berlin mission from 1966-1968. Shortly after he returned from his mission, his step-mother Ellen passed away after a long fight with cancer.

Wayne attended the University of Utah before and after his mission, completing 4 years of college. In February 1970, while attending church with his brother Carl at BYU, he met Judy Strange. Never one to let an opportunity pass, Wayne invited her out that evening.

During the next months, Wayne was drafted into the Army, in spite of earlier knee injuries from basketball. He loved his country and served in Vietnam in the infantry and as a unit clerk for a combat aviation battalion. He received two Bronze Stars medals while there. Later in life, Wayne joined the National Guard, serving in the Driggs, Idaho firefighting unit for 14 years.

Wayne and Judy were married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 17, 1972. They lived in Salt Lake City for several years, working and attending school part time, before moving to St. Anthony and Parker, Idaho.

Wayne and Judy's oldest child, Stephanie, was born in 1974 with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. The Claytons moved to Jackson, Wyoming in 1978, after Wayne secured a job as a Facilities Engineer with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. He gave up career opportunities to keep Stephanie in an excellent special needs program offered in Jackson at C-V Ranch. This sacrifice on his part turned out to be a great blessing. He loved his job and his co- workers. He became Facilities Manager for the Bridger-Teton Forest. He always said he had the perfect job, out in the Forest, checking on guard stations, water systems, and campground facilities. He oversaw several building and bridge constructions and restorations.

Wayne was a wonderful, caring father, assisting in Stephanie's care for many years. Wayne and Judy also have two sons, Nathan and Jason, who were the light of Wayne's life. He loved taking them on hikes, trips to Yellowstone (his favorite place in all the world), and teaching them how to fish and snowmachine. For 17 years, Wayne was the guide and photographer as Judy wrote and published a small weekly newspaper called "Teton Views."

Wayne worked for the Forest Service for 36 years until he retired in June 2013 and moved to Rexburg, Idaho. He continued to return to Jackson (another of his favorite places), to work on the Forest a couple of days a week every summer until just before his passing.

The family thanks the doctors and nurses at Madison Memorial Hospital and EIRMC for their kind, capable care of Wayne.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Judy; daughter, Stephanie; sons, Nathan (Becky), and Jason (Jessica) Clayton; sisters, Donnalee Benson, Joanne (Ken) Wise, and Sherrie (Scott) Openshaw; brother, Kenneth (Rebecca) Clayton; and six wonderful grandchildren whom he loved deeply.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Sandy Clayton, and brother, Don Carlos Clayton III.

A viewing will be held at Flamm Funeral Home in Rexburg on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at the Hibbard Church (2001 N 3000 W) on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. with a viewing from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the church.

The family encourages those attending in person to practice social distancing and to wear masks. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Champ's Heart, an equestrian program for disabled and ill children, 2643 Galway Circle, Idaho Falls, ID 83404 Burial will be in the Parker Cemetery with military rites.

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