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Gerald Clayburn
June 25, 1925 - June 13, 2021

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.


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Stan and Debbie Dougherty on June 23, 2021 at 10:34 AM said:

Uncle Jerry and Aunt Ruth visited our home in Eugene, OR at Thanksgiving regularly in the 1970s. He demonstrated 1 arm pushups and did his best to teach my twin brother Steve and I how to drive a manual transmission. I loved his many stories and jokes. His snicker still makes me smile. When Debbie and were stationed in Spokane, WA we stayed in his rental home on Hawthorne until we purchase our first home. Our twins were born in Spokane and we were regular visitors to the Cottonwood Inn, where Matthew and Kristen enjoyed Aunt Ruth and the fish tank. They were the best Aunt and Uncle you could imagine. On our second assignment to Spokane, Ruth had passed and Jerry had married Deloris living on Loon Lake. All three of my kids enjoyed the hot tub, motor boating, and the "Here Lies Loon Lake Jake" sign. Jerry was a fun loving man with a zest for life. He was never without an entertaining story. So many memories of a Great American!
Miron & Elaine Walker on June 16, 2021 at 5:46 PM said:

We enjoyed knowing Jerry after he moved to Oelwein. He did well adjusting to that change in his life.
Nancy & Lyle Miller on June 15, 2021 at 5:15 AM said:

Sincere condolences to all. Good guy & he'll be dearly missed. May the Lord be with him. We will say prayer for all.
Sheryl Gosse, Oelwein on June 15, 2021 at 12:08 AM said:

We met Jerry years ago along with Dr. Jack at when I and a friend attended dinners at the Legion, Country Cottage and other places too. Jerry was the driver for Dr. Jack, who also recently passed. They were best buds, shared many stories of their War days,Jerry with his educational training & Dr. Jack on the war & his medical career. Remember Dr. Jack made house calls. Both will be missed very much,they are now in heaven together.
Cheryl and Jim I'm sad for your loss, he's in a better place. Cherish your memories. Thanks for keeping us posted on your dad, he was a great neighbor. Jerry has a special daughter.
Hebron Lodge 374 on June 14, 2021 at 5:11 PM said:

From the brothers of Hebron Lodge, we bid you a long farewell and may the sunshine of heaven beam bright and the sprig of Acashia forever bloom for you. Farewell our dearest Brother.
John and Janet Hofmeyer on June 14, 2021 at 4:50 PM said:

So sorry for your loss, but he lived an amazing life! God grant you peace.

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