Jack Alexander Clayton

April 7th, 1944 - January 4th, 2021

On January 4, 2021, one of the world’s best grandfathers was welcomed into Heaven by scores of family members who went before.

Jack, known to his seven grandchildren as Papa Jack, was born on April 7, 1944 at Speed’s Old Water Mill in Pickens County. He graduated from Greene County High School where he met his sweetheart, Violet Drummond. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Livingston University (UWA) and later earned an AA (Double A) degree from the University of Alabama.

He taught high school math for several years in both Greene and Pickens Counties before being appointed to the position for which he became known: principal. Jack served as Headmaster at both Warrior and Wilcox Academies from the early 1970s – 1986. After moving his family to Moundville, he served as principal of Hale County High School and then Northside High School before culminating his career in administration at Greensboro High School. Throughout his 40 plus years as an educator, he impacted the lives of thousands of students and hundreds of teachers, coaches, and support staff. Coach Clayton treasured the time he spent successfully leading many girls’ basketball teams to winning seasons with rare, yet entertaining, technical fouls along the way.

First and foremost, Jack was a loving and proud husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son, and friend. He worked with tireless devotion to provide for his family. Jack enjoyed fishing, hunting with his brother, watching SEC football (especially Alabama), collecting pocket knives, and working in his garden. Those close to him will forever remember the catchphrase Jack used to encourage someone (his daughters) to make good choices: “Remember who you are.” What they would not give to hear him say that just once more.

He is preceded in death by his father E.B. Clayton and his mother Emma Ilene Norris Clayton. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Violet Drummond Clayton, his daughters Jodi Wilson (Tim), Jacki Owens (Trent), and Jan Boyanton (Tommy), his grandchildren Abbie Wilson, Hampton Wilson, Lillie Wilson, Allie Clare Wilson, Emalee Gann, Bradley Gann, and Jacob Boyanton, his brother Harold Clayton (Rachel), his sister Ann Tolbert (Jerry), 20 nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins. Pallbearers will be Tommy Boyanton, Jacob Boyanton, Brad Gann, Trent Owens, Hampton Wilson, and Tim Wilson. Honorary Pallbearers will be Brian Clayton, Ken Clayton, Clay Gibbs, Michael Strickland, Dan. B. Butler, Danny Matherson, Victor Scott, Jim Putman, Eugene Spencer, Richard McCray, George Massey, the Raymond Fields Sunday School Class at Moundville Baptist Church, and the former faculties and staffs of Warrior Academy, Wilcox Academy, Hale County High School, and Greensboro High School.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 7, from 1 – 3 p.m. at Magnolia Chapel South for friends and family to pay their respects. Due to CDC regulations with regard to COVID-19, the immediate family will not be present at this time. A private graveside service will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Ralph, Alabama on Friday, January 8.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Hale County High School Alumni Committee for the Jack Clayton Memorial Fund.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We are very fortunate to be blessed with the teaching of your word and that all of our actions will always have consequences-some fortunate, some unfortunate, some unintentional, and in many cases, we do not take our thoughts and actions seriously.
We should continuously live with the realization that everything that we do and say influences all the people around us-even our friends; and we are influenced by them.
Our behavior should always be characterized by patience and a controlled temper. All attributes should continuously display an extreme slowness to anger in all behavior. Also, we should all work hard to find favor to God and to our fellow man.
Loyalty and love of God will always result in precious blessings in our individual lives.
We are also thankful for your guidance, leadership, and forgiveness of our many sins and shortcomings.
All these things we ask in your Holy Name.
Jack A. Clayton