Clayton Johnson, 94

Clayton Johnson, 94, of Marshalltown, passed away on the night of Monday, February 5, 2019, at the Iowa River Hospice Home.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 9th, at the 1st United Methodist Church with Pastor Craig Luttrell officiating. Private interment will be held at a later date. Visitation will be one-hour prior to the services at the church. For condolences, please visit The Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Clayton and his family. Phone 641-844-1234.

Born Clayton Edward Johnson, Jr. on St. Patrick’s Day of 1924, in Burnside, Iowa, he was the son of Clayton and Ruth Marie (Bjork) Johnson, Sr. When the doctor handed baby Clayton to his parents, they noticed he was holding a baseball – and the rest was history.

He graduated from the Coon Rapids High School in 1942, attended Drake University and graduated from Iowa State University in 1950. During those years, he began a colorful and successful career playing baseball locally, for Chicago Cubs farm teams and later the Angels. Mr. Johnson also served our country honorably in the United States Navy during WWII.

While playing baseball in Sioux Falls, he sprained his ankle and had to sit out some games. He went to the local pool and met a beautiful young lady by the name of Jean Nerison. Since he was on the road for the team, they wrote daily and a year later they married on November 24, 1950.

Clayton was a hard-working man who put faith and family first. He owned and operated Manning Dairy, worked at Borden’s Dairy and Farner-Bocken, Stegman Sporting Goods, Nim’s Sports in Ames and alongside Jean and his kids owned the Bus Depot Cafe and Sugar Bowl Cafe in Marshalltown. In later years, Clayton was custodian in schools and 1st Congregational and Central Christian Churches before joining the staff of Estel-Perrin-Avey Funeral Home. He was a member of 1st United Methodist, the American Legion and former Moose Lodge.

Left to celebrate his life are Jean, his loving wife of 68 years; three children: Dan (Jean) Johnson, Mike (Mary) Johnson, both of Marshalltown and Rick (Holly) Johnson, of Crestview, FL; grandchildren: Michelle (Craig) Brown, Eddie (Tessa) Johnson, Jillissa Handorf and Lainey Johnson; great-grandchildren: Jorell Handorf, Sammy Brown, Max Handorf, Carter Johnson, Lincoln Handorf, Grayson Johnson and Kali Johnson, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and his family at the Village Co-Op.

At heaven’s gate, he was met by his great-grandson, Corey Brown, who died just nine days prior, his parents and his siblings Harold, Thurman, Lloyd and Helen.