Beloved husband, father, grand-father, brother, uncle, and friend, John Clair Layton, died surrounded by his family, on May 26, 2017 at the Idaho State Veteran’s Home . We, as Clair’s family are honored and thankful to have been a part of his amazing life. Clair was born October 31, 1935 to James John Layton and Maria Christina Housley. In Clair’s mother’s journal she wrote, “The summer all went about the same until Halloween, then it was a wee bit different as it brought to us a new kind of Halloween gift. It left a lovely baby boy for us. He weighed 8 ½ pounds and has a lot of long black hair. He is so tiny and oh, so sweet. We are naming him John Clair. He has made us very happy!” From the moment of his birth, Clair has brought joy and love to everyone who has known him.
Clair grew up in Downey, Idaho, the baby boy of 9 children. All of his siblings, Bersha, Mate, Dorma, Reba, Mada, Elva, Ben, and Janit loved and adored him. Together, the family enjoyed a simple and happy life. When Clair was 10, they moved to Moreland, Idaho, where he relished farming and was fascinated by the changes that came with tractors and mechanical technology. Clair left the family farm to serve a mission for his church to the Central States. He loved the people there and was so happy to serve them. It was an important element of his life, one he was very proud of.
Following the mission that he loved, Clair was drafted into the United States Army. For two years he was stationed at Fort Knox, and then he served in the Army Reserves for 4 years. Just as he loved his family, Clair also loved his country. He has always been an honorable and patriotic man.
Throughout his life, Clair’s faith was his driving force. He constantly tried to live in accordance with his beliefs, and he worked hard to teach his children to do the same. In January, 1965, Clair married the love of his life, Joan Ruby Oswald. They had 8 children, Kenneth, Wendy, Teresa, Travis, Floyd, Kurt, Don, and Ronda. As life evolved, they also gained 34 grand-children, and 10 great-grandchildren . He loved each of them very individually. Grandpa was always so glad to see each and every member of his family, just their going to see him made him happy. He had a way of making everyone feel valued. Every person in Dad’s life mattered, he made sure each one knew that.
Because Clair got married a little later in life he was able to devote extra special time to his nieces and nephews. He remains the “favorite uncle”. He was able to play with them, love them, teach them, and was a huge part of them becoming great people. To this day, they love and adore him. So many people are better because they knew him.
Clair worked hard throughout his life, as a farmer, truck driver for a lumber yard, a truck driver for a bread delivery company, and for the longest time as a sheet metal worker for Greene Plumbing & Heating, where he retired in 2001. He was truly a “jack of all trades”. If there was anything that needed to be fixed or done, he figured it out and mastered it. He served other people his whole life with these talents. Many times, day or night, he went out of his way to help people with leaky plumbing, faulty electrical, or an automotive repair. If anyone needed a hand, he was always the first to show up, and of course with a smile. After his retirement, Clair continued to work hard in his home, his gorgeous garden, and worked his fingers to the bone on every home repair project his kids could come up with (and they came up with quite a few!). He always strove to pass on his knowledge and skills to his family. Anyone willing to lend a listening ear got to learn something from our Dad.
In addition to working hard, Clair and Joan played hard. They loved the outdoors, enjoying lots of time camping with their family and going on long drives. They spent tons of time square dancing, a passion that made them both very happy. Clair was always known for his kind demeanor. His simple, no-nonsense attitude touched everyone who knew him. Dad was always grateful for the tiniest things that were done for him.
With overwhelming gratitude, we honor this incredible man. He is our Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, and Friend, one of the greatest men to ever live. We love him so much and cherish every day we had with him. He truly made this world a better place. We publicly express our gratitude and thanks for all he did, and all that he was. His legacy will live on. We will honor him every day by loving and serving others as he taught us to do. We will continue to make the world better, just as he did. Thank-you, Clair Layton, for showing us how to live. We are eternally grateful.
A viewing will be held on Friday, June 2, 2017 from 6-8pm at Cornelison’s Funeral Home 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. The funeral will be Saturday June 3, 2017, 10:00 AM at the LDS church on the corner of Hawthorne and Chubbuck Rd., with a viewing from 9-10 there. As a family we also wish to express our gratitude for the staff at the Idaho State Veteran’s Home, who lovingly cared for our father over the past year. Thank-you for your kindness, your vigilance, and your amazing ability to make the end of life such a peaceful experience. We are so thankful.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornelisonfh.com