In memoriam - Our Brother @Clayton has passed on

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Bullthrower338, Apr 16, 2019 at 8:46 PM.

  1. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    All,
    It’s with a sad heart that I post this. Our fellow AH’er and my dear friend @Clayton has crossed over to be with our Lord and Savior to hunt the great bushveld in the sky.

    I met this great man through AH, enlisting his gracious help in sorting through quite a few Pre 64 Winchester’s trying to acquire one in the Super 30. Not being an expert in Winchester rifles and having learned my hard self taught lesson on buying Gen 1 Colt SAA’s, Clayton led me through the ins and outs of what I was looking at, what to look for and when to run away from a deal. I may not have gotten to hunt with this rifle yet but the fun we had finding it places it in a special place in my memory.

    Shortly after we acquired my 300 Clayton was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and decided he was up for the fight. I told him that I would help him with anything he needed. We talked or texted every day about guns and hunting, this daily ritual will be missed immensely. I had still not met Clayton in person, but about a week before he went in for a Wipple Procedure he called me and asked if I could drive to Louisiana to meet him. Without hesitation I said yes and asked what he needed help with. We met at the Cracker Barrel in Sulpher, LA for breakfast. When we finished breakfast we walked out to the parking lot and he pulled a Pre 64 ‘06 out of the back seat, complete with a 1-6 VX-6 and Brownells sling. I admired the rifle and complemented him on it. He then told me it was mine. I argued with him that I couldn’t accept such a gift and that I cherished his friendship because of him, not what he could gift me. In typical Coonass fashion he turned the table on me and told me I was taking the damn thing because he wasn’t going to deal with some asshole trying to pay him less than it’s worth. Lol. He said I hope you can use it someday. I told him that morning that I would kill a big bull with it in November.
    D685185D-2D0F-466B-9062-2B7F10E041DE.jpeg
    I sent him this picture in November and he replied with “ you wouldn’t believe what this does for an old man’s heart”. He couldn’t believe I killed a big bull in Montana with his rifle that was bought new in the Bitteroot Valley, Montana in 1952.

    Clayton had survived a very low percentage chance operation and lived almost two more years. I will always be grateful that I was blessed to have the time I did with this fine man. I had the privilege to bring my friend @tarbe to breakfast with Clayton not to long ago and we had a great time.

    Clayton was a rimfire nut, loved shooting tiny groups with his 22’s. One day he sent me a link to an article about the CZ 452 Grand Finale, a limited run at the end of the 452’s model of 1000 guns. He was in love with the gun but wasn’t about to spend money on one. I promptly got on line and ordered one for him and called him to meet me for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel for breakfast that next Sunday. When we were done eating we walked out into the parking lot and I gave him the rifle. I will never forget the tears in his eyes as he looked the rifle over. He spent the next year tweaking the trigger and everything else he could on it, referring to it as “the white elephant” and explained the story of the white elephant to me.

    Last Thursday Clayton’s friend Artie called me telling me that he was in ICU and the Dr was saying a couple days to a couple weeks. I got to the hospital in Lake Charles Saturday morning and he was sitting up in bed talking to Artie. We moved him across town to a hospice facility that afternoon and got him settled in. It was a blessing from God that I had the whole day to spend talking and joking with my friend! Sunday he texted me and said he was really tired, he slowly faded away until he passed this afternoon. Goodbye my friend, rest in the loving grace of God.
    Life is really all about memories you make, Clayton Gilley certainly touched my life and will be sorely missed.
    I found this post this afternoon and it kind of says a lot about how the man thought!
    B2EFA687-F1A8-479B-9612-8129660AE788.jpeg
    My apologies for such a lengthy story but I thought Clayton deserved it! Rest In Peace Brother!

    Cody
     

  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Damn...

    Prayers....

    Wonderful tribute Cody.
     
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  3. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great story Cody. Clayton certainly had some classic posts on AH. He will be missed.
     

  4. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Very nicely stated. A beautiful eulogy.
     

  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    A tribute well deserved.
    Have to take that rifle for another tour this fall. :D Cheers:
     

  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com AH ENABLER FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you for sharing your memories with us, it was truly a beautiful eulogy. It brought tears to my eyes. Clayton, may you rest in peace.


    A few quotes from Clayton's profile:

    Very early memories of being taken Dove Hunting, Duck Hunting & then Squirrel Hunting. Eventually I spent a few years serving as Daddy's retriever. Then one day I was handed an exquisite pre-war JP Sauer & Son 12 ga O/U and I haven't been the same since.

    Next came 1958 when I found a Winchester catalog. It had RIFLES and pictures in it. Again, I haven't been the same since.

    There's just something about Walnut and Old Iron.
     

  7. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Seriously contemplating it going to the BVC as my light rifle!
     
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  8. Chukar

    Chukar SILVER SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Sorry to hear the news.

    Your tribute was nicely written.

    Fair winds and following seas Mr. Clayton.
     
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  9. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    What a sad but truly heartwarming story of Clayton and the wonderful friendship you forged. I've been thinking about him lately. I remember drooling over that elk when you posted it and I know you'll treasure that rifle for the rest of your life.

    RIP Clayton.
     

  10. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Indeed I will, there’s just something about walnut and old iron!
     

  11. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Cody,

    Thank you so very much for this heartfelt story you have shared with us. This is what AH is all about. People sharing everything about life and hunting and that unfortunately involves the eventual end we all face. This life is given to us by God and he offers us the next life for eternity if we just believe in him! Pretty simple.
    RIP Clayton.

    Blessings,
    Philip
     

  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Sorry for the loss Cody. Rest in peace Clayton.
     
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  13. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Yes Sir, Jerome has done a very special thing by creating this site. My life has been enriched by many on this forum. Truly some great people here!
     

  14. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Farewell Clayton, rest in Peace.

    Cody thanks for the reminder of that story. You hit the mark with those wonderful words. Many great people on this site and you are one of the best.
     

  15. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Same to you my friend!
     
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  16. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Next AH dinner we'll have to have a toast to Clayton, the guns, fine walnut and old steel;)
     

  17. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Now that is a fine idea!
     
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  18. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Here's something Clayton wrote a while back "I never met the man yet I still miss him". Just seemed appropriate and fitting. RIP Clayton, you will be missed.
     
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  19. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Very sad to hear. RIP Clayton.
     

  20. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    LMAO!
     
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