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James Edward Clayton

Iowa City

James Edward Clayton, 81, died peacefully Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at The Bird House Hospice Home surrounded by family.
Family and friends will celebrate Jim's life June 29, Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to
2 p.m. at Lensing Oak Hill, 210 Holiday Rd., Coralville, where a time of remembrance will be held at noon. Jim donated his body to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to CommUnity Crisis Services & Food Bank, Iowa City Hospice or The Bird House Hospice Home.
Jim was born Aug. 17, 1937, in Chicago, Ill., the son of Luther and Berenice (Gibson) Clayton. He received a bachelor's degree from Beloit College and served in the Marine Corps. He worked in sales for American Hospital Supply and Embosograph Display Manufacturing Co. in Chicago before purchasing the DeSoto Hotel in Galena, Ill., in 1972, which he ran with the help of his family for more than a decade.
On April 24, 1985, Jim married Christine Allen in Iowa City.
Jim was a lifelong entrepreneur, best known for running the Iowa City landmark, The Soap Opera, with Christine for 33 years.
Jim was very involved in the community. He served on the boards of the Crisis Center, the Arc of East Central Iowa and the Downtown Association, and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Stepping Up. Jim also served as the state of Iowa chairman for the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
An avid outdoorsman, Jim took many a friend and relative canoeing, kayaking, camping and fishing. He loved to tour the globe with Christine, always taking the road less traveled. He was a handy do-it-yourselfer who custom-built his own kitchen cabinets and once overhauled a 1963 Alfa Romeo roadster in his garage. An avid homebrewer, he also was known for his famous '"Claytoni" pizza creations prepared in his outdoor cob pizza oven.
Jim is survived by his wife, Christine; his children, Joseph Clayton (Lisa Alexander) of Chevy Chase, Md., and Jennifer Logueflower and Jane Clayton, both of Mineral Point, Wis.; four grandchildren, Benjamin, Samuel, Bodhi and Abel; his stepsons, Matthew Theobald (Semirra Bayan) of Rochester, Minn., and Garrett Coop (Myra Stone) of Rockford, Ill.; his brothers, Robert (Arlene) Clayton and John Clayton (Jan Winter); his former spouse, Judith Clayton; and his "Little Brother," Levi Dalnodar, who was matched to Jim at age 8 and continued to be in touch until the day before Jim's death.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.
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