Wilson Malcolm Clayton
Wilson Malcolm Clayton
  • March 7, 1921 - July 27, 2017
  • Orlando, Florida

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Wilson Malcolm Clayton entered the life eternal on July 27, 2017 peacefully surrounded by his family. Malcolm was born March 7, 1921 in Live Oak, Florida in Suwannee County on the Suwannee River. He was the son of Geraldine Barnes and Kenneth Malcolm Clayton. After his father passed away when he was only 3 years old, he was the only son in a family with his mother and 3 older sisters growing up through The Great Depression. He always made it a priority to provide for them anyway he could. He was a 4th generation Floridian. He graduated from Suwannee High School where he was a leader on the football and basketball teams and class president of the student government for 4 years. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Business Administration and ROTC degree. During WW II, Malcolm served as a liaison pilot and captain in the 909th Field Artillery Battalion, flying 88 missions for the 84th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, known as the Rail Splitters. He flew L-4 Piper Cubs over front lines and behind enemy lines in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded 2 Air Metal Clusters. As a quintessential member of The Greatest Generation, he was always a faithful servant to God, Country and Family.

After the war, he married Mary Damon Helvenston from Live Oak, Florida and moved to Orlando. He opened Clayton’s Realty with his cousin, Charles Clayton. Their relationship continued from birth, high school, college, war, and over 50 years of a very successful real estate business. Both cousins were frequently described by fellow businessmen as the “hardest working men in Orlando”.

Central Florida families today live in the more than 5000 homes including most of those in the city of Maitland, developed and built by their company, Claytons Realty, which consisted of Malcolm, Charles, and Ed Fielding. While they developed and built-out over 60 subdivisions, their company developed much more than homes. Throughout Central Florida, they also developed and built shopping centers, office parks, churches, schools, motels and utility plants,

Malcolm was a founding director of ComBank/Winter Park and one of the original founders of University of Central Florida. He was named Trustee Emeritus at Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he served for many years on the Board of Trustees.

Malcolm and Mary Damon, his wife of 69 years, have been active members of The First Presbyterian Church of Orlando for over 65 years. He has been a Sunday School Teacher and served as an Elder and Deacon. He also served on the Heart of the City Foundation for many years. He was so proud of their six children, spouses and grandchildren who have also been active members, teachers, deacons, and elders. Malcolm and Mary Damon have been key supporters of The Gathering of Men ministry for many years. Their passion for helping make the Clayton Life Center a reality on the campus of First Presbyterian Church has been very significant for Malcolm and Mary Damon, their children and grandchildren. He was an avid philanthropist but most often as an anonymous donor.

Malcolm has been an avid Florida Gator and Orlando Magic supporter and any team his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren participated in. He wore many hats as husband, father to 6, grandfather to 17, and great grandfather to 21. He was a man of deep faith, love of family and joy in his work. He enjoyed traveling and seeing the world with his wife and family. His most treasured time was always spending time at his beach home in New Smyrna Beach and leading the family reunion in holiday singing at Thanksgiving in his mountain home in Cashiers, NC. His happiest and most cherished times were those spent with his family. Even more than his beautiful wife and large family, he loved his Lord and his life was a direct reflection of his strong faith. As he always said, “My cup runneth over, blessing after blessing”.

He is predeceased by his son, Mark Alexander Clayton as well as his parents and 3 sisters. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Damon, of 69 years, his children Kenneth Malcolm Clayton II(Joan), Mary Cordelia(DeeDee) Clayton Warren(Dr. William Warren), Craig Helvenston Clayton(Barbara), Carol Anne Clayton Sealy(Phil), Brantly Walker Clayton(Yvonne), Keli Clayton(daughter-n-law), grandchildren: Jenifer(Jenie) Clayton Kolar(Alan), Kristin(Sissy) Clayton Perryman (Dr. Patrick Perryman), Kenneth Malcolm(Trey) Clayton III(Amy), William Christopher Warren(Anne), Mary Lindsey Warren Severs(Brad), Anne Warren Williams(Dillard), Joseph Helvenston Clayton(Meredith), Melissa Clayton Hart (Terrence), Ansley Sealy Mercier(Rob), Lauren Elizabeth Sealy, Clayton(Clay) Philip Sealy, Brantly Walker Clayton Jr., Wilson Malcolm Clayton II, Jonathan Daniel Clayton, Michelle Grace Clayton, Taylor Marie Clayton, Tanner Alexander Clayton , 21 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A special appreciation for Louet Alexander and Donna Smith for the loving care they gave Malcolm.

Memorial Services will be held on Friday, August 4, 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, 106 East Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Heart of the City Foundation, Malcolm Clayton Memorial Fund, 106 East Church Street, Orlando, Florida, 32801. Arrangements are being made by BaldwinFairchildIvanhoe.com.