Billy Lee Clayton, age 87, of Boonville, passed away Wednesday, April 13, 2011, after a short illness. Billy was born February 7, 1924, to the late Pleasant Clayton and Gwendolyn Samuels Clayton in Mt. Vernon. On April 16, 1946, following two weeks of dating, Billy married the love of his life, Ellen Gertrude Ferrell. They remained married for 61 years until she preceded him in death in 2006. Billy served in the United States Navy from 1943-1946 following high school graduation from Mount Vernon. He served during World War II on the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Shipley Bay. Billy worked as a pressman at MWM Press in Aurora for 17 years. He was a member of First Baptist church in Aurora and worked with the youth and R.A.s there. He moved to Jefferson City to work as a pressman for the Missouri Baptist Convention for 24 years. He and Ellen were members of Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and continued his work helping and teaching youth. In 1987, Billy and Ellen retired to their beloved property in Cape Fair on the banks of Table Rock Lake. They spend many hours fishing together. They were very active in the Cape Fair Baptist Church where Billy served as a deacon and was always ready to help in any way he could. Retirement brought a new hobby for Billy, serving as a very popular Santa Claus for the Children's Home in Mt. Vernon and Branson area during the holiday season with his very special Mrs. Claus. Billy Clayton was a man devoted to his family, his church and friends and will be missed by all he touched throughout his life. His was a life lived well. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Billy and Ellen had two children: Danny, who passed away in 2008, and Janell Tallmage who resides in Columbia with her husband Don "Bosco" Tallmage Jr. Billy had five grandchildren: Dana Montgomery and husband Mark of Columbia, Lori Shaw and husband Ryan of Potosi, Andrew Clayton of Jefferson City, Ashleigh Clayton of Jefferson City, and Jonathan Tallmage of Columbia. He was also the proud great-grandfather to McKenzie and Jordan Shaw, Sadie and Sydney Montgomery, Presley Tallmage, and was preceded in death by great-grandson, Carter Lee Montgomery. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Hammer. Visitation will be at Nilson Funeral Home in Columbia, on Friday, April 15, from 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Nilson Funeral Home on Saturday, April 16, at 11 a.m. with William "Bart" Tichenor officiating. Interment will be at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens in Jefferson City following the service. The family suggests memorials to the Boone Hospital Home Care Hospice Program.