Obituary for Max Alexander Clayton | Hartsell Funeral Home
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Max Alexander Clayton

1926 ~ 2019 (age 93)

Max Alexander Clayton, 93, of Weddington, North Carolina, formerly of Albemarle, North Carolina, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on October 1, 2019. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 at First Baptist Church in Albemarle at 1:00pm officiated by Dr. Drag Kimrey, followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall.

He was born September 29, 1926, in Albemarle to the late George Alexander Clayton and Sallie Parker Clayton. He was preceded in death by a sister, Broadus Miller and brothers, Wade and Roy Clayton.

Max is survived by his wife of 65 years, Owonna Smith Clayton of Weddington, and his daughters Mimi Clayton (Thorne Martin) of Pittsboro and Sally Higgins (John) of Weddington.  He was a beloved “Paw Paw” to his three grandchildren Charlie, Caroline and Collin Higgins who saw him as their hero.  He is also survived by many treasured nieces and nephews.

Max spent his life in Albemarle until moving to Weddington five years ago. He attended school in New London until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945 when he was a senior in high school.  He served during World War II and was honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant.  He was stationed in the Philippines and South Korea for a year after the end of the war before returning home.  After his return, he finished his senior year and graduated with the class of 1947.

He had a successful career in law enforcement with the Albemarle Police Department and held several positions, including detective, before retiring as a Captain in 1987.  After his retirement, he remained active in the North Carolina Law Enforcement Association for a number of years.  Max was a jack of all trades who could build anything, including his own house, and could fix anything too.  He was very fortunate to have enjoyed a very long retirement, which included spending time with his grandchildren, traveling with Owonna, and golfing with his friends. 

Max was a longtime member of Prospect Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Albemarle.  He was active in various roles at both churches, including serving as a deacon.  He was a member of the Saints Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church and developed close friendships with his fellow members.

The family wishes to thank his dedicated caregivers Robin King and Nakisha Redfern as well as his hospice nurses Kristie Poulton and Patricia Mauney.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Baptist Church of Albemarle, Novant Hospice, or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Hartsell Funeral Home of Albemarle is serving the Clayton family. Online condolences may be made at

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