Clayton, Walter A.
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July 2, 1923 - May 12, 2013
Walter A. Clayton of Sarasota, Florida passed away on May 12, 2013 at Tidewell Hospice at the age of 89. He is survived by Jane, his wife of 64 years, and their children, Drew Clayton of Sarasota, Mary Cushen of Golden Valley, Minnesota, Jim Clayton of Lexington, S.C., John Clayton of Lutz, Florida, their spouses, eight proud grandchildren, his brother William L. Clayton of Green Village, New Jersey and his sister, Grace Folker, of Portland, Maine. Walter was a veteran of Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944, and a recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star for valor, as well as three purple hearts. He was later awarded the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France, for his wartime service. He left the U.S. Army in 1946 as a Captain with the 29th Division. A graduate of the LaSalle Military Academy and a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before the war, Walter graduated from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service following the war and later became a certified public accountant. He spent the last 21 years of his working life traveling throughout Asia and South America in connection with his work in treasury operations for IBM World Trade, living for three years with his family in Hong Kong. In 2009, the Sarasota Herald Tribune wrote an article featuring Walter entitled, "D-Day memories find a voice, decades later." It can be seen at http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090606/ARTICLE/906061054. A resident of New Jersey for most of his life, Walter and Jane retired to Sarasota, Florida in 1984. They were founding members of the Bent Tree Country Club and lived there until very recently. During the early years of their retirement, Walter and Jane volunteered at Doctor's Hospital and for many years he assisted with the Meals on Wheels program making early morning deliveries of food to needy families in Arcadia. He was a devout Catholic and a parishioner at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Until a short time ago, he was active with Florida Post 2 of the 29th Division Association in Sarasota. Before his health deteriorated a few years ago, Walter was an avid golfer, a student of history and fascinated by world and national events. He believed in personal responsibility, honor, the welfare of others, and he was an authentic patriot whose American flag always flew outside of his home. A memorial service will be held at St. Patrick's Church on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10:30 am with internment at the Sarasota National Cemetery to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org, or to The Salvation Army.
Published in Herald Tribune from May 19 to May 20, 2013