Cover photo for Jerry Clayton's Obituary
Jerry Clayton Profile Photo
1938 Jerry 2022

Jerry Clayton

August 28, 1938 — August 20, 2022

Jerry Clayton

Tupelo- Jerry Lee Clayton passed away Saturday, August 20, 2022, at Sanctuary Hospice House. Despite dealing with the results of Parkinson’s Disease for three years, until the last few weeks, Jerry steadfastly continued to enjoy visiting with friends, finding solutions for pressing issues and coaching errors with his coffee group, and driving his dog, Bentley, around town.

A celebration of Jerry’s life will be 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at Calvary Baptist Church where he had been a member for more than sixty years. Dr. John Boler will officiate with Judge Glen Davidson providing the eulogy. The burial will be at Tupelo Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 12 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church. W. E. Pegues Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

Jerry was born on August 28, 1938, in the Mount Vernon community of Lee County to Robert Curtis and Dewdrop Raper Clayton. He graduated from Belden High School and attended Itawamba Junior College (ICC) and Florence State (UNA) on basketball scholarships. While at IJC he met Tula Ann Senter and they were later married. After earning a degree from Mississippi State, he began teaching History and coaching basketball at Milam Jr. High School in Tupelo. Little did he know then that his heart for teaching would be a driving force throughout his life. Coaching took him to Tupelo High School where his 1968 Golden Wave basketball team won the state championship. He cherished his relationship with his students and players and remained concerned about them through the years, often being invited to their class reunions.

In 1968, Jerry left the school system to become Chancery Clerk of Lee County, an office he served for twenty years. He was active in the Mississippi Chancery Clerks Association and often helped new clerks learn office operations. While in office he was appointed Youth Court Referee. There his experience with abused and neglected boys revealed a need for a safe place to house and nurture these young men. This became his mission and with support of the Lee County Board of Supervisors, Jerry founded the Alpha House, where for the next forty years, boys found a mentor whose goal was to give them a new way of life with confidence to set a goal and reach it. He wanted them to be so successful that they would become taxpayers instead of tax recipients. Many of those young men who lived there often came back to see and thank him.

Wherever his careers took him, Jerry remained dedicated to his family. He taught his two sons to love the outdoors, and they hunted and fished together and loved all things MSU. His terrific sense of humor made for many stories of their adventures. All the while his example taught them to care for those less fortunate.
Jerry was a member of the original Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation Board, a Mason, and served on the board of the North Mississippi Medical Center. In 2014 he was named Tupelo’s Outstanding Citizen.
Jerry is survived by his wife of sixty-four years Tula, his sons Clay (Lisa) and Matt (Donna), his grandchildren Jacob Washington (Rachel), Davis Clayton (Kelsey), Grace McClay Clayton, Carter Clayton (Anna Grace), Walker Clayton and Anna Kees Clayton and four great grandchildren: Knox, Graham, Eve and Stella. He is also survived by his nephews Brad and Robbie Clayton.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Joe Clayton.

Pallbearers will be Judge Glen Davidson, Kermit Davis, Judge Thomas Gardner, Jerry Hollingsworth, Charlie Huffstatler, Benny Randle, Charles Sproles and Kenneth Warren.

Memorials may be made to Sanctuary Hospice House or the Tupelo Humane Society.

Expressions of sympathy and fond memories may be made at www.PeguesFuneralHome.com .
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Clayton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

12:00 - 1:45 pm (Central time)

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Services

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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