Judge James Keeble Clayton, Jr.

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Judge James Keeble Clayton, Jr. of Murfreesboro, TN died May 3, 2011. He was a native of Murfreesboro and a descendent of Rutherford County and Murfreesboro’s earliest settlers. He was the son of the late James Keeble Sr. and Frances Gerhardt Clayton.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM Sunday, May 8, 2011 at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. John Hinkle officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM Saturday at Woodfin Memorial Chapel Murfreesboro, TN.

Judge Clayton is survived by his wife Lynn Rose Stevenson Clayton of Murfreesboro, TN and formerly of New Orleans, LA; daughter Maredith (Tom) Metier of Murfreesboro, TN; sister Bettie Clayton Cook of Murfreesboro, TN; step-children John Lee (Kristi) Stevenson of Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Frederick Ogden (Julie) Stevenson of Baton Rouge, LA; and Grace Elizabeth Stevenson of Nashville, TN; grandchildren Cooper Clayton Metier, John Carter Stevenson, Catherine Stevenson, Savannah Stevenson, Michael Stevenson, Wesley Stevenson and Baron Stevenson; and a host of nieces and nephews. Judge Clayton was preceded in death by his first wife Betty Jane Cooper Clayton, a son James K. Clayton III, a sister Laura Keeble Clayton, and a brother-in-law Curtis Riggs Cook.

Judge Clayton was a 1956 graduate of Sewanee Military Academy and received his B.A. Degree from Vanderbilt University in 1960. He received his law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1969. He was also a graduate of the Tennessee Judicial Academy and the Tennessee National Judicial College. Before entering the legal profession, he was office manager for his family’s business, Personal Loan and Investment Company, and was unit sales manager for Proctor and Gamble Distribution Company.

Before being elected judge, he had a private law practice in Murfreesboro, TN. From 1974 – 2008 he served as Juvenile Court Judge, General Sessions Court Judge and Circuit Court Judge for the 16th Judicial District. Upon his retirement he resumed his private law practice in criminal law and substituted for various judges in Rutherford County, TN in addition to working with the Public Defender’s Office.

Judge Clayton was a member of First Presbyterian Church and a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as an Intelligence Officer and was a retired Lt. Col. in the Tennessee National Guard. He was member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Murfreesboro Noon Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Stones River Country Club. He served as Vice President of the Rutherford County Bar Association and held various offices with the Tennessee Trial Judges Association and the Tennessee Council of Juvenile Court Judges. He also held various offices with the Rutherford County Bar Association, the Tennessee General Sessions Conference, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference.

Memorials in memory of Judge Clayton may be made to First Presbyterian Church, the American Heart Association or the Diabetes Association.

Online condolences may be made at www.woodfinchapel.com 615-893-5151.

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