Mary M. Clayton, devout evangelist

February 15, 2014

Evangelist Mary M. Clayton, 90, of Seaford passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation & Health Care Center. The Lord called her home as she was sleeping early Wednesday.

Mrs. Clayton was born in Easton, Md. Dec. 29, 1923. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Mary Gardner. She received her education through the Maryland school systems. Mrs. Clayton moved to Delaware in the 1940s where she purchased a home in Seaford. Mrs. Clayton gave her life to the Lord in 1943 and was a very dedicated and active member in Mt. Sinai. Mrs. Clayton was a missionary and then ordained as an evangelist in the 1970s and served as a Sunday school teacher, treasurer, as well as preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ. In her youth and up to retirement Mrs. Clayton traveled all over Delmarva to tell about the goodness of Jesus.

Mrs. Clayton was employed as a housekeeper for many years in Seaford,  where many of the families she worked for considered her part of their family. Mrs. Clayton also raised chickens and ducks as well as selling her delicious baked goods. Upon retirement from housekeeping she continued to bake and went into full-time ministry. Mrs. Clayton was an active member of Watch God Move in Bridgeville, where her  pastor was Patricia Powell. Evangelist Clayton was installed as the church mother in 1998.

Evangelist Clayton was preceded in death by her husband James W. Clayton of 61 years in 2006; three sisters Marie Enalls, Catherine Gardner, and Mable Williams; three brothers, William Gardner , Avon Gardner, and Wilbert Gardener; She also is survived by her loving daughter Faith D. Johnson and son-in-law Herbert L. Johnson of Millsboro; one devoted and special granddaughter Kimberly Lynn Johnson of Dover; one great-granddaughter; Jasmine L. West of Frankford; one great-great-grandson Derrick Bryelle “James” Houston of Frankford; a devoted adopted daughter Elizabeth Coverdale and her husband Larry Coverdale of Georgetown; one brother Charles Gardner of Cordova, Md.; a sister-in-law Beatrice Elias of Philadelphia, Pa.; goddaughter Susan Broughton of Seaford ; a godson Dammie Gibbs of Georgetown; and a goddaughter Olivia Bivens, of Seaford. A special mention and love is for her niece Barbara Watkins and her nephews William “ Boyice” Clayton and  the Rev Maurice Brooks; and a host of cousins, nephews, nieces and friends. In addition the family acknowledges a special love for Mary DeSheilds, Debbie Townes, Betty Henry, Larry Desheilds and Tony Riley who was considered as Mom.

Mother Mary Clayton was a true disciple and follower of Christ who will be greatly missed. She was known to be friendly and show the love of Jesus to everyone she knew. Every day she prayed, praised God and will be fondly remembered for singing praises to God.

A funeral service will be held at 12:30 p.m.,  Monday, Feb. 17, at Watson Funeral Home, 211 S. Washington St., Millsboro, where friends may call after 10:30 a.m. Pastor Patricia Powell will officiate. Burial will follow at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Millsboro.