Clayton Joseph Matus, 87, of Rochester, passed away after an 18 month battle, with his daughters by his side on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Hospice. Where he was taken care of with gentleness and compassion. Born on May 22, 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was the son of the late Joseph Matuszewski and Esther (Matuszewski) Davidson. Clayton moved to Rochester, Ohio when he was 16. He attended New London High School before joining the US Air Force in 1956.
Clayton’s hard work ethic and perseverance started as a young man when he spent his summers in northern Wisconsin planting and harvesting crops on his uncle’s farm. Clayton owned his own rig hauling steel for 25 years. Then he worked for Lesco where he was plant manager for 20 years while also owning his own fabrication shop called Clay’s Welding in Wellington. Clayton had a special bond with his dogs Nitro and Hunter and a love for cars and all things fast. As well as an ability to build and manufacture; two hobbies worked together well. He designed and manufactured many nitrous powered specialty vehicles easily reaching 100 mph plus at the drag strip. The only white-haired man out on the strip. His last ultimate three-year project was a rocket he honed from a 70 pound block of stainless steel, which he harnessed to a riding lawnmower. Bouncing ideas off of neighbor and friend Ron Rorieg. Clayton also enjoyed attending car shows with his classic cars and king midget collection. He worked for a time in the DARE program traveling to schools all over the country.
Clayton is survived by his daughters, Karen (James) Maiers, of Sheffield Lake, and Darla (Ronald) Gow, of Wellington; grandchildren, Brittany Gow, Tristan (Henna) Maiers, and Taylor (Joe) Mobley; great-grandchildren, Gabriel Catalognia and Ezra Maiers; half-sister Mary (Pat) Timman; brother-in-law, Donald McClave, who traveled from Louisiana to help care for Clayton for the last five months; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Ruth (McClave) Matus; a newborn son, Larry: in-laws Eugene and Bessie (Poole) McClave and brother-in-law, Charles McClave.
Friends and family will be received on Friday, March 24, at Norton-Eastman Funeral Home, 370 South Main, Wellington, from 4-7 p.m. and again on Saturday, from 10 a.m. until the time of services beginning at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Grove Street Cemetery, New London, at a later date. A luncheon will follow services on Saturday at the Pittsfield Community Church, 17026 State Route 58, Wellington.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared online at www.norton-eastmanfuneralhome.com Memorial contributions may be made to the Huron County Humane Society, 246 Woodlawn Avenue, Norwalk, OH 44857.
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