Former Anchorage resident Clayton "Clay" Sleeper died on September 10, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas, surrounded by his family. He was 81.
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Mr. Sleeper was born November 4, 1931, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1949. He married Jean Sleeper on November 14, 1953. After graduating from high school, Mr. Sleeper joined the US Army as a recruit, and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer. During his military career he served in various locations throughout the world, including Panama, Okinawa, Korea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He came to Alaska 1969, and was stationed at Fort Richardson. After he retired from the military in 1970, he worked in the telecommunications industry as a computer programmer, until he retired in 1993.
Clay lived in Alaska for 19 years, where he enjoyed fishing, camping, golfing, bowling and square dancing with the Dudes and Dames square dancing club. In his retirement years he lived in Vancouver, Washington and spent winters in Casa Grande, Arizona, before finally moving to the Fort Worth area to be near family.
His family wrote: "He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, who was quick to laugh, and loved to gently tease. He had a soft spot in his heart for children and animals, and was intensely loyal and devoted to those he loved. We loved him very much, and he will be forever missed."
Clay is survived by Jean Sleeper, his wife of nearly 60 years; his daughter, Beth Jackson and sons, Gary Sleeper and Randy Sleeper of Anchorage, and daughter, Lynne Young of Fort Worth, Texas; ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He will be interred at Fort Richardson National Cemetery at a later date, following a military honors ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (myasthenia.org) or to your local hospice.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23, 2013