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Robert J. Clayton, M.D.

Obituary for Robert J. Clayton, M.D.

February 10, 1935 - October 20, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 83

Obituary

On October 20, 2018 the world lost a giant: a giant heart, whose love, patience and kindness knew no bounds; a giant of medicine, who helped pave the way for inclusion and early childhood intervention in the United States; and a giant smile that never waned, even in his sickest hour. Robert J. Clayton, age 83, passed away peacefully at his home in San Antonio, TX, surrounded by his family and beloved dogs Maggie and Shelby.

Robert, known as Bob, was born on February 10, 1935 in Buffalo, NY, to Stanley and Mary Clayton. He graduated from SUNY Medical School in Buffalo, completing his pediatric residency at Buffalo Children's Hospital. After serving two years in the US Air Force Medical Corps at Westover Air Force Base, he completed a medical genetics fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. During his time at Hopkins he began a life-long passion for assisting children with developmental disabilities and their families.

In 1969 he was the first to describe Byler Disease (Fatal Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis) among Amish populations. As a professor at Georgetown University he was one of the early medical consultants for Project Head Start. From 1976 until his retirement in 2000, he served as pediatrics faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and was medical director of the Birth Defects Clinic at Santa Rosa Hospital. He helped start the Early Childhood Intervention Program in the State of Texas, a program which provides services for families with children from birth to age 3 with developmental delays and disabilities. He was also involved with the inception of the Brighton School, which at its founding served children with Down Syndrome.

In his retirement he served for 6 years as a member of the Texas Medical Rangers. He also was a consultant on SSI disability appeals. He loved the Spurs and had a great interest in the history of WWII. In April he made his bucket-list trip to Scotland to visit family and the place where his father was born.

Dr. Bob/Uncle Bob/Dad/Grandpa will be most remembered for his vision, vast intellect, patience, and kindness. He was a man who always made time, no matter how busy he was, to sit, talk and try to solve the problems of the world. In the words of a 10-year-old neighbor's school essay, "Uncle Bob talks slowly and thinks long and hard before answering a question. He shows an interest in people, but most of all in children and animals. He always finds time to be nice to children like when he mows the lawn he stops to listen to kids who come to talk."

His family certainly believes that the world is a better place for him having been a part of it.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Joan; daughter, Mari Glamser-Samuel (Dave) from Kerrville, TX; son, Robert Clayton (Brenda) from Dallas, TX; grandsons, Austin Glamser, M.D, and Matthew Dreher; and sister Gail Evans (David), from Apache Junction, AZ.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Brighton School.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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