Norma Jean Clayton died Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the Spirit Mountain Hospice Home in Cody. She was 92.
Norma Jean Goff was born March 12, 1927, in Cody to Byron “Barney” and Ruth Goff. Norma Jean was a lifelong Cody resident and loved the long heritage her family had in the area. She attended Wapiti School and was very familiar with the North Fork area, having shared with her grandfather, John Goff, many growing up experiences at Goff Creek Lodge and Mountain View Lodge which the family managed for several years.
Norma Jean graduated from Cody High School in 1945 and was a cheerleader and Prom Queen. It was there she met James Donald “Don” Clayton and they were class sweethearts who were married in Cody Feb. 14, 1946. They were blessed with three children, and Norma Jean was the “Rock” that held the young family together while Don was in Korea.
Norma Jean worked briefly in Cody as a telephone operator, J.C. Penny associate and retail salesperson at the Hair Affair. But her main purpose was working tirelessly as a Mom and homemaker. Her son said “Mom could wear down a straw broom to about an inch in about six months.” She was also notorious for sweeping the campsites on family camping trips up Sunlight and North Fork.
Norma Jean was very active as a performer in “Sweet Adelines, Barber Shop Bells, and the Yellowstone Harmony Choir for over thirty years. She was part of the performances at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Walt Disney World in Florida, and an international tour in Austria. She also sung in the Presbyterian Choir many Sundays. She was a lifelong member of the B.P.O.E Elks Club, Eagles Club and the Cody Lions Club. She enjoyed family get-togethers as long as no one moved the doilies on the family home furniture. She followed all her kids’, grandkids’ and great-grandkids’ sporting events, and cherished evening time with Don sitting on the back patio. She also enjoyed knitting and blessed the family with many afghans for baby gifts. One of her biggest joys was jitterbugging with Don and tearing up the dance floor to the great old song “In The Mood.”
Norma Jean is survived by her three children: Byron (Kym) of Albuquerque, N.M., Debe Jean Clayton of Thayne, and Shelley Rae (Wayne) Karlik of Cody; seven grandchildren Corey (Holly) of Lehi, Utah, Dustin (Alex) of Las Vegas, BJ (Amy) of Las Vegas, Ashley (Mark) Dickel of Manila, Philippines, Skylar Rose Clayton of Albuquerque, Jason ( Gretchen) of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Bailey (Hal) Bromley of Cody; 19 great grandchildren and one on the way in June, and the blessing of one great-great-grandson with two on the way in July and additionally five step-grandchildren.
Norma Jean was preceded in death by her husband Don of 51 years of marriage. Barney and Ruth Goff (parents), sisters Evelyn, Marjorie, Happy (Kencke), and Helen Johnston/Orendorff.
The family would like to sincerely thank Brookdale Assisted Living, the Powell Valley Health Care, and Spirit Mountain Hospice for their loving, kind and supportive care of our Mom, Grandma, and Great Grandma these past seven years.
In lieu of flowers please send any donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at www.alzfdn.org/.
Funeral services will be held at Ballard Funeral Home on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at 10 a.m. with burial and reception to follow.