Jerry Clayburn, 95, of Oelwein passed away Sunday June 13, 2021. Visitation will be from 10:00-11:00 AM on Monday June 21, 2021 at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein. The service will then begin at 11:00 AM with Deacon Jim Patera officiating. Masonic Services will be led by the Hebron Masonic Lodge #374 of Oelwein. Inurnment will be in Mt. Vernon Cemetery at Peru, NE at a later date. A memorial fund has been established. Due to state and federal guidelines on gatherings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and wearing a mask are recommended.
Gerald Elton Clayburn was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Ansel Bennett and Ethel (Linnaberry) Clayburn on June 25, 1925. He grew to manhood in Peru, Nebraska.
From 1943 through 1946 Jerry was in the United States Army serving in the Corps of Engineers in Africa, Italy, Philippines and was among the first troops to serve in Japan following that war. He transferred to the Air Force Reserve following WWII and was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and remained in the Reserves for a number of years.
He married to Ruth Elizabeth Dougherty on June 1, 1947 and to this union two children were born.
After earning his Bachelor of Science in Education degree at Peru State College, Peru, NE Jerry began teaching at Plattsmouth High School, Plattsmouth, NE in Industrial Arts, and coaching football and basketball from 1949-1953.
In 1953 he and Ruth moved their family to Brentwood, CA where he began teaching Industrial Arts at Liberty Union High School. He received his Masters Degree in Education from the University of California, Long Beach in 1958 and continued teaching until 1963 when he was appointed Vice-Principal of Liberty Union High School and served in this position until 1978 when he retired from teaching.
Upon retiring Jerry and Ruth moved to Spokane, WA where he established Clayburn Construction Company. In 1981 he constructed, owned and operated the Cottonwood Inn and Conference Center in Davenport, WA.
Ruth Clayburn passed away June 26, 1989 after forty-two years of marriage. On January 12, 1990 he married Miriam Henley and they later divorced. On July 8, 1995 he married Delores Anderson and they established their home on Loon Lake, WA. Delores passed away on April 1, 2016 after twenty-one years of marriage.
Jerry was always an active community member in every location where he lived and was especially involved with the Masonic Lodge and the Shriners, as well as an avid volunteer with the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Spokane, WA. He was also active in the Lion’s Club Eyeglass project and the American Legion.
During the time he lived in Brentwood, CA he was an orchardist where he enjoyed raising English walnuts and Bing Cherries on his ranch. This produce was sold throughout the northern California region.
Jerry was well traveled and had a keen interest in history, spending many hours visiting historical sites important to the westward expansion of the United States. His interest in the railroad’s role in this expansion led him to Virginia City, Nevada where he joined a group of investors in the reconstruction of the famous Virginia-Truckee Railroad as a historic tourist attraction. He served on that Board of Trustees from the beginning of the operation in 1975 until his move to Oelwein, IA in 2016 to be nearer to his daughter and son-in-law, where it did not take him long to establish many friendships and becoming an active member of the community and Grace United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his daughter Cheryl (Deacon Jim) Patera of Oelwein, IA; son Bruce (Gayanne) Clayburn of Nine Mile Falls, WA; son Yuen Robert (Julie) Sidd of San Francisco, CA; sister Laurine Johnson of Auburn, CA; sister-in-law Barbara Clayburn of Lincoln, NE; grandchildren: Mike (Erin) Patera of Springfield, NE, Brian (Angela) Patera of Branson, MO, David Sidd of San Jose, CA and Jared (Melissa) Clayburn of Palmdale, CA; great-grandchildren: Abbey Patera, Alexis Patera, Tate Patera, Will Patera, Ellie Patera, Reed Patera, Madalyn Williams, Jamison Clayburn and Piper Clayburn.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wives: Ruth Clayburn and Delores Clayburn; his brother Ansel Clayburn; and his granddaughter Desiree Clayburn.