School 17


James M. Clayton

1950 - 2021



James Maynard Clayton, a teacher of special needs young people in Chippewa Falls and Kewaunee passed away on May 28th.

Jim was a popular teacher and engaged many of his students for several years after they left his classroom. Jim was active in a number of conservation groups in the area, and was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman.

Jim was born in Bloomington, Indiana and graduated from University High School. He was an outstanding football player, a skill which helped him be an assistant coach in the Chippewa Falls public schools. He attended Indiana University and achieved a B.S. in Biology and an MS in Special Education. His teaching skills won him recognition in both Chippewa Falls and in Kewaunee.

Jim was married to Shannon Cox and they had two sons, Brendan John of Eau Claire who is employed at 5 Star Plastics, and James S. Clayton who is in Germany with the United States Air Force. James and his wife Jessica A. Clayton blessed Jim with two grandchildren Samuel James Clayton and Carol Justene Clayton. Jim lost his brother William S. Clayton to Parkinson's but is survived by another brother John Clayton of Niles, Michigan.

Jim will be remembered as a man who cared about students who needed special help and caring. He was dedicated to his work with young people and took a special interest in helping them find success in school and after graduation. He also will be known as a man who loved Wisconsin and its lakes and forests. He will be missed by his family and those whose lives he touched.

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Kelly (Lusson) Sommerville

June 10, 2021 12:22 AM

Jim, Shannon, Jay, and Brendan were our neighbors when I was growing up.  I have so many childhood memories that include the Claytons...camping, playing in the creek and catching frogs, camping, running through the sprinkler, sitting around the kitchen table visiting, camping, shooting Nerf guns, and a little more camping.  I remember Jim as someone who loved nature and had an encyclopedia-like brain for anything about plants and animals.  He was a great guy who loved life.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.  RIP 

Paul Dawson

June 7, 2021 4:48 PM

I am saddened today to learn of Jim’s passing. My sincerest condolences to his family. 

Like others who have posted here I will always remember the ‘magic’ of growing up on Bryan Avenue, it was a very special place. I remember so many things from that time, the baseball and football games, the adventures along Jorden river especially when it flooded. I remember the tree house we built in the pear tree in the Clayton’s backyard. Jim and I had a small menagerie of critters; a large white rat, half dozen snakes, a large snapping turtle and a baby alligator both rescued from Jorden river. I remember fishing for crawdads so that we could feed ‘Algo’ the Barnes’s adult alligator. I remember when the Bill and Jim became TV celebrities doing a Crest commercial in NYC. We didn’t do sleepovers, rather we did ‘sleep outs’ camping in each others backyards from time to time. Jim loved nature and the outdoors throughout his entire life. There are so many great times to remember growing up with the ‘Bryan Ave gang’.

There are not many childhood friends that remain deep in our memory after all these years but Jim will always be in mine. Rest in Peace my friend and thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

John Johnson

June 6, 2021 6:45 PM

Jim Clayton was a close friend of mine during the years he and I were teachers in Chippewa Falls. Our families were close and did a lot together, like camping, fishing, hunting , and having adventures. If it could be done, Jims spirit should continue at his cabin at Lake Saginagaw!

John Johnson

June 6, 2021 6:34 PM

Jim Clayton was a great friend during our years together teaching in Chippewa Falls. Our families camped and he and I deer hunted , fished , and had many adventures together. Jim loved to celebrate each day, and it is truly sad he has passed on.

JP Bruce

June 6, 2021 12:31 PM

I was a class mate of Jims in high school and roomed together for a while in college. I have many fond memories of him. Wish I had been able to keep in touch. My deepest condolences to his family. He was a man they can be proud of.

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