On Tuesday, October 1st, 2019, Bobby Lee Clayton, Jr. passed away after a short illness at the age of 57. Bobby was born on January 12th, 1962 in Savannah, Georgia to Bobby Lee Sr. and Ruth Barber Clayton.
Bobby was a son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend to so many.
Bobby had great talent and skill as an expert tree-trimmer. He had expert climbing abilities and great skill using a chainsaw. Bobby had exceptional skills with drawing and writing and had been trained by his father in appliance repair. As a young teen, Bobby worked alongside his Father as an assistant in appliance repair for his Father’s side business, Professional Home Service, which serviced many homes in the Savannah area in the 70’s and 80’s. Through the years, Bobby worked for Asplundh & Expert Tree Service of Savannah. In 1989, when Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston,S.C., Bobby offered his skills & abilities in the clean-up efforts of many homes, families & businesses throughout the Charleston area that were struck so hard.
In his earlier years, Bobby enjoyed boating and fishing off the waters of Tybee, Skidaway, and the Ogeechee River. He also enjoyed go-cart riding and dirt bikes. Bobby had a passion for Rock Music, especially to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, Pink Floyd, Styx, Queen, Boston, Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen & many more….with his absolute always favorite song being “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. On the night before his death, and after many days of slipping in and out unconsciousness, we played “Free Bird” for him and sang the lyrics to him. He responded, showing us that he, in fact, was loving it. Bobby always had a great sense of humor, playing practical jokes, and could do exact impressions of certain celebrities. Even in dying, he found a way to make us laugh when we walked in the room at the hospital to see him that first time.
Bobby was preceded in death by his Father, Bobby Sr., his Mother, Ruth, and his Sister, Candice “Candy” Clayton McCarthy. He is survived by his older Sister, Cathy Clayton Mayers, younger Sister, Cynthia “Cindy” Clayton Prescott, nieces and nephews, Amy, Jeremy, DeeAnne, Kristin, Melany, Hal, Emily, Katie and great nieces and nephews, Jaiden, Wyatt, Lexy, Jeremy Jr., Aunt Scarlett, Uncle Jimmy, many cousins and all who loved him.
On Oct 2nd, the day after his passing, I received a heart-wrenching phone call from Memorial Hospital from a sweet lady in their benefits department. Miss Jenkins was her name. Miss Jenkins informed me that Bobby had been to see her a couple of weeks ago and spoke with her for a very long time about God and about how much he loved his family. She told me many wonderful things that he said about his love for us. Most importantly, she told me that he had asked her that after his passing could she please call and let us know how much he loved us and that he had made his peace with God and that he was completely prepared and ready for death. Our sweet Bobby will be missed forever.
A private family Memorial Honoring Bobby will be held on the Ogeechee River at a later date.
Remembrances can be sent to The American Cancer Society.
In Bobby’s own writings from many years ago:
I dreamed Christ came the other night and Heaven’s gates swung wide
with kindly grace, an Angel came and ushered me inside
and there to my astonishment, stood folk I’d known on Earth
some I had judged and labeled, unfit, of little worth
Indignant words rose to my lips, but never were set free…
For many faces showed surprise, they weren’t expecting me!
If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on now, there’s too many places I’ve got to see
But, If I stayed here with you girl, things just couldn’t be the same
Cause I’m as Free as a Bird now, and this Bird you cannot change
Bye Bye Baby, it’s been a sweet love, though this feeling I can’t change
But please don’t take it so badly, Cause Lord knows I’m to blame
Won’t you Fly High Free Bird
Lyrics from Free Bird