Canton – James Clifton Clampitt, 87, passed away peacefully at his residence surrounded by his family on Monday, September 16, 2019.
He was born in Macon County and was the son of the late Renfro Lofton (R.L.) Clampitt and Maude Mae Howard Clampitt. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Jean Waters Clampitt, who died in 2014; a sister, Helen Sherrill; and a brother, Jimmy Clampitt.
Following graduation from Canton High School, Clifton enlisted in the United States Navy and served from 1950 until 1954. He was assigned to the USS Rochester where his duties involved navigating and steering of the ship. He received a commendation for steering for 34 hours straight in a battle station offshore of North Korea. At the time of his discharge, Clifton was Quarter Master 2nd Class. Upon returning from his service, Clifton accepted a job offer at Champion Papers. Champion Papers benefited with 35 years of dedicated service as a supervisor over carpentry and mason. Clifton was instrumental in founding the Fire Department within Champion Papers and also served as the first fire chief. He was a founding member of the Haywood County Rescue Squad. His specialty with the rescue squad was purchasing boats and training for diving rescue.
Clifton and Jean worshiped and raised their family at Calvary Baptist Church. His devotion to God was evident in the many church positions he held as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, choir member and training union director. Together, Clifton and Jean provided a home where God was supreme, and family meant everything. For the past several years, Clifton and Jean were dedicated members of Bethel Baptist Church. They were avid golfers and were also employed at Lake Junaluska Golf Course running the Pro Shop. Their love of golf enabled them to travel to many locations and created wonderful memories.
Clifton is survived by a daughter, Cathy Bechtel and her husband, Lou, of Canton; two sons, Mike Clampitt of Canton and Mark Clampitt and his wife, Donna, of Arden; two sisters, Shirley Bailey of Covington, Louisiana and Edith Buchanan of Augusta, Georgia; seven grandchildren, Janee` Lowman, Shane Clampitt (Kari), Brent Jamison (Becky), Brandon Jamison (Ginger), Blake Jamison (Audrey), Jeff Bechtel (Kelsi) and Angelina Clampitt; and eight great-grandchildren, Rylee Jamison, Blake and Chase Clampitt, Austyn and Brenna Lowman, Max, Bryce, and Delaney Jamison.
Funeral services for Clifton will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2019 in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Reverend Roy Kilby officiating. Entombment will follow at The Horizon Mausoleum at Crawford/Ray Memorial Gardens with military honors. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday evening at Wells Funeral Home in Canton.
Memorials may be made to Bethel Baptist Church, 5868 Pigeon Road, Canton, NC 28716.
The care of Mr. Clampitt has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com