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Jan. 5, 1931-Sept. 19, 2009

Clayton N. Whitten, of Leesburg, Fla., passed away on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 after a prolonged period of illness. Services will be in Umatilla, Fla. at The First Baptist Church of Umatilla on Sept. 21, 2009.

Clay's entire life can be summed up in one word -- service.

Clay Whitten was born in Kennebunk, Maine on a snowy day the 5th of January, 1931. After graduation from Kennebunk High School; Clay heard the call to service and enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952. During a 20 year career, Clay would see service in Africa, Europe, South East Asia and across the United States. His loyal service spanned the Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War and Cold War eras often taking him away from his family for extended periods. He retired in 1972 at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, and started his own service related residential repair company.

After more than 10 years as an entrepreneur, Clay once again took up the call to service as a professional scout ranger for the Tuscarora Boy Scout Council. Scouting was one of his life's passions. He was a scout leader in Boy Scout Troop 11 in Goldsboro, which was affiliated with St. Luke United Methodist Church, where he was also a long-time member. He was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He later served proudly as a professional scout ranger for the Tuscarora Council Scout Reservation for more than 10 years and retired in 1992. He also served with the Mar Mac volunteer Fire Department and was a member of the Goldsboro Lions Club.

Clay was actively involved in a variety of organizations and activities to support the community over the years. He was a volunteer leader for the Boy Scouts of America for 30 + years. He was a member of the International Lions Club. He was an active member of the St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Goldsboro, serving on several church boards. He was a valued member of the First United Methodist Church of Eustis Florida. He provided valuable building and facilities expertise supporting the church and Habitat for Humanity. He was also a member of the Waterman Hospital Auxiliary. Clay was a model of quiet, humble service to his family, his country, community and his God without the need for unnecessary fanfare.

He married Joan in 1954 and they were married for 55 years. During that period, they raised four sons, Daniel, Dale, Dean and David. Along the way he opened his home and his heart to a few special "adopted" sons that were welcomed into his home as his own. For a man that raised sons, he had an extra special love for the "glamorous girls" in his life--his wonderful daughters-in-law that brought him great joy and an endless supply of love and attention. Along the way there were 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren he so greatly cherished. He passed on a marvelous legacy for them to carry on and was proud of each and everyone of them for their individual accomplishments.

He is survived by Joan Whitten, his wife of 55 years, their four sons, Daniel, Dale, Dean and David; his daughters-in-law, Lu Jean, Kym, Jeanette and Angela; his 11 grandchildren Amber, Tiffany, Caitlyn, Christopher, Jennifer, Jacob, Savannah, Nicholas, April, Bobby and Jackie and two great-grandchildren, Nathaniel and Gabriella.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers; donations be given to the Tuscarora Council BSA, P.O. Box 1436, Goldsboro, NC 27533-1436 in Clay's honor for a summer camp scholarship fund.


Published in Obituaries on September 20, 2009 10:30 AM