Juanita Louise “Nita” Clayton, age 89, passed away at Brownwood Regional Medical Hospital in Brownwood, Texas on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.
Family visitation will be 6-8 PM Friday, January 14, 2011 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, Odessa, Texas, with Brother Bob Blazek officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be her six grandsons, Ramsey Fowler, Brent Clayton, Todd Pruett, Will Pruett, Eric Crane and Larry Crane.
Nita Clayton was born in Nolan County, Texas, to Roy and Mary Mathews on October 18, 1921. She was raised in Sweetwater, Texas and attended Abilene Christian College before becoming an associate in her father’s furniture business.
During World War II, she worked for the Eighth Service Command Headquarters in Dallas and returned to Sweetwater to become manager of her father’s store. In Sweetwater, she was a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club and Beta Sigma Phi.
In 1945, she married Fred Clayton of Detroit, Michigan, who was then a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. In 1946, the couple moved to Odessa, where within a year the young couple opened their own furniture store, Clayton Furniture, located on West 10th Street. Nita and Fred raised three children, Lynda Beth, Roger Fred, and Jeannie in Odessa and were long time members of Parker Heights Christian Church.
In 1963, Nita was beside her husband in starting Desert Paving, Inc., a concrete construction company, that has now been in business for almost 50 years and is owned by their son, Roger and his family.
Nita Clayton was active in Odessa’s Thursday Study Club for many years, and served as president in 1965-66.
She lived her life serving the Lord. She was president of Parker Heights Women’s Fellowship two terms. Until recently, she was still doing for others, such as making sandwiches for Vacation Bible School workers, even with many physical limitations. No matter how difficult it was for her, she wanted to be offering help and comfort for others in need. She was a student and example of God’s Word. She and Fred are members of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Brownwood, Texas.
As a charter member of the Ector County Republican Women’s Club, Nita served as publicity chairman in 1965, and was a delegate to the Texas State Convention many times, as well as a National Convention. Nita was a delegate from Del Rio to the State Republican Women’s convention when she and Fred retired in Del Rio. She continued to be active in politics and was a member of the Brown County Republican Women’s Club.
For almost fifty years, Nita Clayton researched both of the Clayton, Mathews, and related surnames. She visited courthouses, cemeteries and relatives throughout the country and made a trip to England.
Motor home trips and playing duplicate bridge were enjoyed by Nita and Fred for the past thirty years, but their great joy has been family.
Nita is survived by her husband of 65 years Fred Clayton of Brownwood, Texas; daughter Lynda Beth Fowler and husband G. William (Bill) Fowler of Odessa, Texas; son Roger Fred Clayton and wife Ruthann Clayton of Odessa, Texas; and daughter Mary Jean (Jeannie) Pruett and husband Steve Pruett of Brownwood, Texas; eleven grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren and another great-grandson expected any day; sister Imogene Jones of Dennison, Texas; sister Frances (Toots) Hynum of Phoenix, Arizona; brother Billy Roy Mathews and wife Nancy Spillars of Sweetwater, Texas, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be donated to Permian Basin Mission Center, 208 Adams, Odessa, Texas, 79761, or to Matthew 25 Ministries of Coleman, Texas.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. To sign the guest book, go to our website at www.sunsetodessa.com .