Owonna Smith Clayton, 93, of Weddington, North Carolina, formerly of Albemarle, North Carolina, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on May 21, 2023. She was an extraordinary spouse, mother, sister and grandmother.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 1st at First Baptist Church in Albemarle at 2:00 pm, followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall.
She was born September 30, 1929, in Albemarle to the late Etta Little Smith and Clyde Baxter Smith. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Max Clayton, her sister, Mildred Whitley and her brother, Everett Smith.
Owonna is survived by her daughters, Mimi Clayton (Thorne Martin) of Pittsboro and Sally Higgins (John) of Weddington. She is also survived by three sisters, Laura Hartsell, Carolyn Kimrey (Drag), Sharon Caudle (Ray) and sister-in-law Shigako Smith as well as many treasured nieces and nephews. She was a beloved “Maw Maw” to her three beloved grandchildren Charlie (Ali), Caroline and Collin Higgins (Tori) and step-grandchildren Holly Martin, Jimmie Martin, and great-granddaughter, Ivy Martin.
Owonna spent her life in Albemarle until moving to Weddington nine years ago. She graduated from Albemarle High School in 1947.
She had a successful career in banking for 42 years with Wells Fargo Bank formerly known as Cabarrus Bank, Northwestern Bank and First Union National Bank and served as an Assistant Vice President before retiring in 1991. She also held leadership roles with the Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) local chapter. Owonna was a Master Gardener, an amazing cook and a talented craftsperson.
Owonna grew up attending West Albemarle Baptist Church, followed by Prospect Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Albemarle. She held various roles at her churches, including serving as a deacon at First Baptist Church. She was a member of the Gleaners Sunday School Class and the Joy Group at First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Baptist Church of Albemarle (http://www.fbc-albemarle.org), Novant Hospice & Palliative Care, 324 N. McDowell Street, Ste. # 200, Charlotte, NC 28204 (http://www.novanthealth/hospice.org), or the charity of your choice.
“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth”. Mitch Albom
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