Dr. Kermeta "Kay" Clayton passed away unexpectedly on January 18, 2012 in San Antonio. She was born on November 6, 1946, in Tyler, Texas to Kermet Ennis and Edith Shenkir Clayton. Kay is survived by her mother, Edith Shenkir Clayton of Bryan, Texas; sister, Karla Clayton Pollock of San Antonio, Texas; brother, David Houston Clayton of Montgomery, Texas; nephews, Jon Michael Pollock and James Patrick Pollock of Kingsville; fiancé, Charlie Hoffman of Alice, and numerous relatives. She was predeceased by her father, Kermet, who passed away in October 2007.
Dr. Clayton graduated from Conroe High School, Conroe, Texas. She was involved in many activities including Girl Scouts, church and bell choir at the First Methodist Church, and played the French horn in the band during junior high, high school and college. She earned her bachelor's degree in home economics and math from Sam Houston State University, her master's degree in psychology and guidance from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and her Ph.D. in educational administration from Texas Woman's University. In 1996, Kay attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. She was also selected to be a member of the Governor's Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in 2000, and was a selected participant for the 67 th National Leadership Forum held by the American Council on Education, Office of Women in Higher Education in Washington, D.C. in 2006.
Dr. Clayton began her meritorious career in higher education in 1978 as the Assistant Professor in the School of Human Ecology, College of Natural Sciences, at the University of Texas in Austin. In 1983, she received her first of many leadership appointments as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Life Studies, School of Home Economics at the University of Southern Mississippi. She was promoted to Professor in the spring of 1988.
Dr. Clayton moved back to Texas in 1988 when she was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Sciences, College of Agriculture and Human Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK - formerly Texas A&I University). Between 1988 and 2008, she served TAMUK as the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Intern (1993-1995), Vice President for Student Affairs and Special Services (1995-1999), Interim University President (2001-2002), and as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (1999-2008). Beginning in July 2008 and continuing until her retirement in August, 2010, Dr. Clayton served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.
At the national level, Kay served in a leadership position for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation process and for the mentoring of new provosts for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She was Past President and Chair of the Board for the many professional associations including the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Association of Teacher Educators of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the National Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences. Her contributions spanned 32 years of tireless service to institutions of higher education.
Community and civic activities were also a large part of Kay's life. Most people never knew that she helped countless students attend college through her anonymous support. While living in Denton, she was a member of the Denton Rotary Club and the Denton Chamber of Commerce from 2008-2010. She was a member of the Kingsville Noon Rotary Club from 1990-2008 and served as President from 1994-1995. Kay served on the Kingsville Board of Directors for the Greater Kingsville Economic Development Council from 1992-2002, was a member of the Kleberg First National Bank Board of Advisors from 2002-2008, and was a member of the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce from 1995 until her untimely death. She had also just been elected President of the El Prado Condominium Homeowners Association, where she had recently moved and made many new friends.
Kay loved her family and friends and they dearly loved her. She was kind, caring and fun. Many hundreds of students and professionals benefitted from her mentorship and guidance and she will be greatly missed. The world, and indeed all those who knew her are better for having her grace their lives.
A visitation is scheduled at 10:30 A.M. with the service following at 11:30 A.M. Saturday, January 26, 2013 at Porter Loring Mortuary, 1101 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212. Service will be conducted by her cousin, Father Edward Karasek, of West, Texas. Honorary pallbearers include Kay's special friends, the Soluna Girls: Janet Black, Cheryl Kelsey, Dianne Porter, and Jean Rodman.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. Kay Clayton Fund, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation, PO Box 2202, Kingsville, Texas, 78363.