Clayton LeRoy Howard, age 81, passed away On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson. He was born on August 2, 1938 in Newport, N.C. the son of Moses Clayton and Jessie Lee (Simmons) Howard.
He attended schools in Newport and graduated from Newport Consolidated High School in 1956. He worked as an installer for the telephone company, at a nuclear plant and later in life owned a used car lot in Springfield Georgia from which he retired.
In 1961, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was discharged in 1963. He married Virginia Nance and they were married for over 30 years when she passed away. One thing that he and Virginia enjoyed was RVing all over the country abd spending winters in Arizona. On one of their trips, they came over Polson Hill and saw Flathead Lake and Clayton said, “Virginia, I think this is where we will retire!” They purchased some property and remained here and following Virginia’s passing, Clayton remained in Montana while still going home to North Carolina to visit family and friends. While on one of these trips, he was home for a class reunion, got reacquainted with a former classmate, Justine Blizzard. They were married and shared some years together until Clayton passed away.
He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Virginia and son Ron Howard.
He is survived by his wife Justine Blizzard – Howard, his brother Larry Howard and wife Sharon, his sister Barbara Biggerstaff all of Newport, N.C.; a step-son, daughter in law, a step-daughter and son in law, as well as many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Clayton had many friends. He was a true animal lover he had horses, dogs and cats.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Clayton held on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 1:30 P.M. at the Big Arm Fire Station. There will also be a Celebration held in the spring in his home state of North Carolina where he will be laid to rest with full military honors.