Clayton Smith

June 24, 1947 - February 14, 2016
Clayton Smith

The day of love and roses ended in a day of heartbreak and tears for my family. The man that was fondly referred to as Husband, Dad, Brother, Grandpa, and Friend had a heart attack that took his life. The decision to go that night wasn’t his but in life there are many things that are out of our control.

My dad, Clayton Smith, was a relatively simple man. All he really required in life was his family, a fishing pole, some bait, coffee, and some snacks. He was not a man that lived for extravagant things; some of his favorite belongings were his stained/holey jeans, a plain tee shirt with a pocket, and his flannel shirt. He never understood why we gave him such a hard time about wearing them because he was comfortable.

My Dad had a genuine heart with a lot of love. A man that was completely content on babysitting his 1 1/2 year old grandson Sebastian whenever possible and going to the pier to go fishing with his brother Dayton.

My dad wouldn’t say goodbye on the phone because it was too final, he would say toodle loo because it was funny. He could care less about a clean home when there was a food fight to be had.

He faithfully spent nearly 40 years with my mom, Deborah Smith. They had a typical life with ups, downs, and potholes along the way. They would drive each other crazy but you knew they always loved one another. Most of the stuff my mom did baffled him but he accepted it all because that was what she did. There were times she didn’t understand him but he was her partner in life and she rolled with it. They have many memories that they have shared with others and special secret moments that they hold dear.

My dad would secretly buy me Lays Salt and Vinegar potato chips when I was little because it was our special thing. He taught me how to fish and loved every minute we would spend together. He taught me to love houseplants and how to plant a garden. My memories with him are never ending and priceless.

My dad was the man that my brother Robert Strait called Dad for most of his life. He was the one that taught Bob how to fish and spent many special moments together while enjoying the open blue sea.

He was the man that was the first true dad to my husband. He accepted him right away and happily handed me over to him on our wedding day. He told him that I was his problem now. My dad accepted Joe’s girls as his grandchildren from day one.

As grandpa he would take all of the time in the world to let his Grandchildren (Cory, Anja, and Ethny) talk to him about whatever was on their minds. He would take them fishing or just sit on the porch and talk to them. He taught Sebastian how to make crazy faces and his wrestler face and pose. He is the man that my children are going to be completely heartbroken to not have around anymore. He always had a stash of junk food that he would keep to share with them. Jokes and hugs went hand and hand with them.

He would take anyone that wanted to go with him on trips in his semi when he was working. It was because of him that I saw many states. My dad would stop at all of the Indian Rests that he would find while working to try and find a replacement Indian ankle bracelet with bells that I lost when I was little on our farm. He taught my mom how to drive a semi while she was riding with him so they could make it back home in time for Christmas.

His life was full and if there is anything else you want to know feel free to ask because there are too many stories to write.

He has left special people behind to share his stories. His wife Deborah, his brothers and sister Dayton, George, Patty. His in laws Jack and Nancy. His daughter Amanda, son in law Joseph, grandchildren Cory, Anja, Ethny, and Sebastian. His son Robert, his girlfriend Adria along with her children. His long list of family, Jacki, Mike, Steve, Shawnee, Wendi, Aaron, Sydney, Jonathan. Many special friends Ron and Pat Walker, Barb Bixler, Marilyn Boltenhouse, Lowell and Debbie Bixler, Patty and John Bond. So many more.

Special people he is reacquainting with, Franklin and Francis Smith, Paul Martin, and Sarah Rectenwald.

The family will have a Memorial Service at a later date.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking the “Sign Guest Book” tab.
Wilmington Funeral and Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • February 18, 2016
    Deborah says:
    Clayton. ...I miss you so much and will miss you always .You are my love and you are my heart. I don't know how I will make it without you. We were supposed to be together forever..we had so much left to do together.I am surrounded by love...but feel so alone without you. You will always be in the heart and thought s of our family..friends and anyone that ever met you. I love you my husband ..my best friend...my soul mate.

  • February 18, 2016
    Shawnee and steve says:
    Hey ol' man its just like you to do it your way. We are blessed that Shane .Emma and Sage had you in their life. You are so missed already. We are taking good care of your favorite girl and always will. And remember when we see each other again the food fight is on...

  • February 19, 2016
    Lisa Becker lit a candle:
    Lit since February 19, 2016 at 2:37:54 AM

  • February 19, 2016
    Yvonne dawson says:
    You were the best grandpa ever. You were grandpa to all kids including our grandchildren. They never figured out you were Santa that Christmas. You did a great job. Rest in peace.

  • February 19, 2016
    Sheila Woodson Sandy Rinehart Carolyn Carper says:
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone. May god bless you all.