Emmitt Clayton(1927 - 2013)

Funeral services for Emmitt Clayton, 86, of Portales, will be at 10:00 AM, Monday, May 6, 2013, at Third and Kilgore Church of Christ with David Heflin officiating, assisted by Kenneth Broad. Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery with Mike Tucker, Kenneth Broad, Jim Reed, Tim Russell, Ron Jackson and Delbert Rector serving as pallbearers. All of his former students and teaching colleagues will be honorary pallbearers. Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them to Clovis Christian School, P O Box 608, Clovis, NM 88102-0608. The family will receive guests at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 PM.
Emmitt Clayton was born January 20, 1927, in Melrose, NM to the home of Nannie (Metcalf) and Horace Emmitt Clayton and died in Portales on May 1, 2013. Emmitt's mother died when he was four years old, and shortly after that his father basically abandoned him and his sisters to fend for themselves. Emmitt's oldest sister stepped in to help her younger siblings and keep them together. When he was 15, Emmitt began driving a school bus to help support the family.
In spite of the difficulties of his life, he was active in sports, and was selected for the All County District Teams in both basketball and track, as well as the All State teams in both sports. Emmitt was also a member of the Art Club. After his graduation from high school in 1945, he was drafted and served in the Army as a radio operator. After he was discharged, he returned to Portales, and began classes at Eastern New Mexico University on the G. I. Bill. While in college he played on the university Basketball team. Emmitt graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in secondary education. He later earned a Master of Arts Degree in Art Education, and completed a 45 hour course beyond his Master's level to earn his Administrative Certificate.
From 1953 until 1963, Mr. Clayton taught Arts and Crafts at Portales Junior High School. In 1963, he began three years as Director of the Media Center. In 1966, Emmitt became the Assistant Principal at Portales Junior High School, and in 1970, he became the Assistant Principal at Portales High School. Mr. Clayton served as Principal at Portales High School from 1972 until 1980. He returned to the schools in 1981 and taught Math at the Junior High School, but retired in 1982.
His professional memberships included the Portales Education Association, the National Education Association, the New Mexico Athletic Association and the New Mexico Administrators Association. Emmitt served as Chairman of Fine Arts for the Roosevelt County Fair for a number of years, and on the Alumni Committee at E.N.M.U. He was a member of the Roosevelt County Mounted Patrol, Phi Delta Kappa and the Portales Lion's Club. Mr. Clayton was selected as the Teacher of the Year in 1961, and was elected to the Hall of Honor of the Portales Public School System in 1995. Emmitt was named among the Outstanding Secondary Educators of America, and was chosen as an Outstanding Alum of E.N.M.U. He was also named among the Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans. Emmitt was an active member of the Ram Booster Club, and was an honorary member of the Ram Band. He had also been named as the Greatest Ram, and was the recipient of a Certificate of Merit and Appreciation from the Portales School Board.
On July 30, 1948 in Portales, he was married to the love of his life, Joan Foster. They enjoyed more than 64 years of marriage before his death. His greatest enjoyment came from his wife, their three sons and their families. Emmitt also enjoyed working on his ranch and watching rodeos.
Emmitt was a deeply spiritual man, and a dedicated Christian. He was a faithful member of the Third and Kilgore Church of Christ. He loved to read his Bible, and his favorite Bible verse was found in Mark 11:23-24, which reads, "Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him."
He is survived by his wife, Joan of their home; three sons and daughters-in-law, Mark and Ladona Clayton of Clovis, Lance and Connie Clayton of Keller, TX and Lane and Kari Clayton of Amarillo, TX; six grandchildren, Joe Mark, Jr, and Krisstal Dawn Clayton, Jody Clint (Jane) and Cody Lance (Ashley) Clayton, and Traci Lyn and Kallie Gayle Clayton; and four great-grandchildren, Cayden, Cash, Campbell and Cope Clayton. He was preceded in death by both of his parents, as well as by five sisters, Minnie Mae, Doris Emmaline, Mary Lou, Georgia Lea and Dorothy Ann.
Arrangements are under the direction of Wheeler Mortuary of Portales. 575-356-4455, wheelermortuary.net
Published in the Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune on May 5, 2013