Douglas Clayton

Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Saturday, April 6, 2024
Presbyterian Church of Toms River
1070 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Douglas Allen Clayton

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Douglas Allen Clayton (1952-2024) We are deeply saddened to announce the death of our beloved husband, father, brother, and dear friend, Douglas Clayton. Doug, aka Allen, was a character who never shied away from a conversation, a complex musical score, or a new friend. Truly gifted with a rich and smooth baritone singing voice, Doug graced many a stage over his years both in the US and Europe. He was a proud alumnus of the Westminster Choir College and frequently reminisced about his time as a featured soloist in the Spoletto Opera Festivals in the mid-70’s. He sang with the greats including concerts conducted by Leonard Bernstein, the Philly Pops, The Philadelphia Singers (the chorale partner to the Philadelphia Orchestra), the Haddonfield Master Singers Chorale and most recently, completed his third tour singing in the choir with soloist, Andrea Bocelli. Most importantly to Doug, he honored God and his strong Christian faith though song with participation in multiple church choirs- in recent years with the Presbyterian Church of Toms River. Doug was also a decorated Eagle Scout and an accomplished visual artist with exceptional talents in pointillism, watercolor painting, clay figures, and special-effects makeup. He was a featured special-effects artist for the major motion pictures, “Dawn of the Dead” and “Poltergeist 3”, training under the prestigious Rick Baker and Tom Savini. Halloween was a crazy time in the Clayton household when it was not uncommon for Doug to spend countless hours in the days and weeks leading up to the day painting the faces of zombies and ghouls for Six Flags Great Adventure and private appointments at all hours of the day and night. Doug also spent many years bringing happiness and joy to residents of hospitals and nursing homes as his funny and entertaining alter-ego, “Hector the Clown”. Above all, Doug was a teacher. He was a music teacher for K-12 over several teaching roles in his career, including elementary chorale music and high school marching band. His passion for sharing music with children extended beyond his teaching career in his various roles a musical director and conductor for a multitude of community theatre organizations, including the Monmouth Conservatory of Music and Phoenix Productions. One of his proudest accomplishments was being selected for a master conducting class led by Marin Alsop, an internationally renowned conductor and musician. He provided private voice and instrument lessons to a myriad of children across Monmouth and Ocean Counties and is credited with instilling a love of music in countless children. Doug is survived by his cherished wife, Susan, his children Jenifer, Paul (sp. Alissa), stepchildren Christian and Samantha (sp. Justin), his sister Alaina (sp. Pete), niece Shelby (sp. Jay), and his adorable grandchildren: Joseph, Nicholas, Sadie, Gwendolynne, Emily, and Calvin. A celebration of his life will be held on April 6, 2024, at 2pm at the Presbyterian Church of Toms River (1070 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753). In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate donations made in Doug’s memory to a local music and/or art organization serving the community.
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