Albert Thomas Clayton obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Albert Thomas Clayton

November 30, 1937 - September 4, 2017

Obituary


Tom Clayton, 79, of Raleigh, NC, passed away on Sept. 4, at his home, surrounded by his wife, Linda, and daughters Kristin Jeanne Clayton and Robin Clayton Ring (husband, Marty).

Born and raised in Oxford, NC, Tom was the son of Levi and Helen Clayton. A strong, life-long work ethic was instilled early when he started laboring in his grandfather's tobacco fields at age 4. As a teen, he delivered newspapers. In school, Tom played five sports and was in the gifted class, graduating from Oxford High School in 1955.

From boyhood,...

Tom Clayton, 79, of Raleigh, NC, passed away on Sept. 4, at his home, surrounded by his wife, Linda, and daughters Kristin Jeanne Clayton and Robin Clayton Ring (husband, Marty).

Born and raised in Oxford, NC, Tom was the son of Levi and Helen Clayton. A strong, life-long work ethic was instilled early when he started laboring in his grandfather's tobacco fields at age 4. As a teen, he delivered newspapers. In school, Tom played five sports and was in the gifted class, graduating from Oxford High School in 1955.

From boyhood, Tom was an avid NC State fan and decided that was the college for him. It took ten years of alternately attending college and working in various jobs to pay for his education, but he received his engineering degree in 1965. One of those jobs was a two-year stint at Ft. Bragg as an Army paratrooper.

Tom married Linda Keezell on Aug. 3, 1963. They have been together 54 years.

Tom worked for Texaco in Asheville and Atlanta for seven years before a college friend convinced him to jointly buy and develop Petroleum Equipment Company in 1972, during the national gasoline shortage. The company installed underground gasoline storage tanks and sold equipment relating to the industry. It was a risk that turned out well. Later the company was renamed Jones & Franks, Inc.

Outside the office, Tom pursued and followed sports avidly. He pitched senior softball into his mid-50s. A skilled hunter, he and six friends refurbished a dilapidated 1930s schoolhouse they dubbed The Halifax Hilton Hunt Club. Tom followed NC State teams, traveled to golf tournaments, and, after retiring at age 57, became known for his successful blackjack casino trips. He had a knack for probability that dovetailed with his street smarts to make him "a successful hustler."

One of Tom's greatest gifts was his instant rapport with people. He sincerely valued those from all walks of life. He loved camaraderie, jokes, personal interaction and made everyone around him feel welcome and better about themselves.

In 1998, Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease.

In addition to his wife and daughters, Tom is survived by nephews Michael Meagher of Cary, Lee Clayton, and nieces Kim Price and June Ellington of Oxford.

Tom's family would like to send gratitude to Transtion's Hospice for their sincere, compassionate care.

A funeral service will be Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m. at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 E. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Tom's name may want to consider the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas, 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 1055, Charlotte, NC 28209.