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Junius Robert Clayton, 75, Marine veteran of Vietnam and shipyard worker

He loved old movies, knew the cast members, and the lyrics of popular songs.

Junius Robert Clayton
Junius Robert ClaytonRead more

GIVE JUNIUS CLAYTON an old John Wayne Western to watch or a Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra song to listen to and he was a happy man.

Junius, a 22-year veteran of the Marine Corps who served two combat tours in Vietnam, was not just a fan, he was a student. He could tell you the names of cast members in the old movies he loved and sing the lyrics he had memorized from his favorite songs.

In addition, Junius had memorized Bible passages, and used them to soothe his own soul and to inspire others, his family said.

Junius Robert Clayton, whose decorations included a medal from the Republic of Vietnam, given to combat veterans, a former employee of the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, died Nov. 27 of a heart condition. He was 75 and lived in the Northeast.

He was the second child born in Philadelphia to Junius Robert Clayton Sr. and Eureka Clayton. He graduated from John Bartram High School and joined the National Guard. Two years later, in 1956, he joined the Marines.

He served two tours in Vietnam, from 1966 to 1967, and 1968 to 1969. Among his decorations were the Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm.

He left the Marines a sergeant.

His son, Junius Clayton III, said his father never talked about his experiences in the war.

"Junius was a strong, dedicated and loyal Marine, a decorated Marine who proudly served his country," his family said. "He was 'Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful.'

"Junius had a huge heart and a gentle spirit. He enjoyed life to its fullest, and it was truly an honor to know him and to be in his presence."

After his service, Junius went to work at the Veterans Administration Hospital and later the Naval Shipyard, retiring in 1988.

He married Marcia A. Brown in 1959.

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by another son, Van J. Clayton; six daughters, Cheri D. Clayton, Marcia A. Anderson, Deborah D. Clayton-Sargent, Kim R. Grimes, Shirley V. Clayton and Cheryl L. Clayton; a brother, Bernard Clayton; a sister, Elaine Baugh; 22 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Services: 10 a.m. Saturday at Consolation Baptist Church, 2500 Wharton St. Friends may call at 8 a.m. Burial will be in Northwood Cemetery.