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James Edwin Clayton

1933 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
James Edwin Clayton Obituary
James Edwin Clayton

Memphis, TN

Jim passed away at home on September 25, 2017 after months of fighting cancer. He was born on November 17, 1933, in Athens, Tennessee, to Dorothy Alene Clayton and Thomas Edwin "Sag" Clayton. He was the oldest of three children.

Jim graduated from McMinn County High School where he played football, basketball and baseball. He was selected best all-around athlete his senior year. Following high school he rode the train to Memphis seeking a college education. He enrolled in Memphis State and worked his way through school at Standard Parts. He was a walk-on for the Tiger basketball team his freshman year and has been an avid fan of Tiger sports in the ensuing years. In 1955 Jim received a BA with a major in accounting and was the first member of his family to graduate from college.

Upon graduation Jim was hired by the Edward B. McClain Company and eventually became the owner of the company. The firm was a management and accounting consulting company to the dairy industry, specializing in product costing for many independent and national brand dairies. Jim became an expert witness in numerous litigations on the federal and state level, including the Federal Trade Commission. He loved his work during those 54 years, and retired in 2009.

While at Memphis State, Jim met and married Mary Lanell Todd. They had two children, Deborah and Steve. Mary passed away in 1989, and Deborah in 2015. The Clayton family was actively involved in Highland Heights Baptist Church where Jim held many offices, including being the Sunday School director of High school seniors and serving as the youngest deacon the church had had. Life-long friends were made there. The Claytons later were members of First Baptist Church of Memphis.

Jim later met and married Betty McEver in 1991. They became charter members of Trinity Baptist Church Cordova and have enjoyed the many friends and relationships formed there. Jim leaves his wife Betty; his son Steve (Alison) of Charlotte, NC; two stepchildren, Dan McEver, Jr. (Stephanie) of Collierville, TN, and Melissa Jones (Briceson) of Germantown, TN. He is Big Jim to his five grandchildren: Thomas, Carter, Avery, Addison and Brooks. Jim leaves his brother, Tom Clayton (Dorothy) of Germantown, TN. He also leaves his niece, Melissa and nephew, Chris and their families.

Jim chose to be part of the Genesis legacy ( A celebration of life will be held at Trinity Baptist Church Cordova, 8899 Trinity Road, Memphis, TN 38018, Thursday, September 28. Visitation will be 5:30 to 7 p.m., with the service at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to Trinity Baptist Church or .
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Sept. 27, 2017
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