Published: 3:00 pm, Tue. Jul. 31st, 2018
Clayton C. Menefee left us to join his parents, seven brothers, and two sisters at the feet of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior early Sunday morning, July 29, 2018. He was 95 years old.
Clayton was born in Granbury, Texas, to J.P. and Mendozia (Robinette) Menefee. The family farmed north of Hagerman in 1928, then homesteaded three sections of land near Pinon, which is still known as The Menefee Ranch.
Upon his graduation from Hope High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served on the USS Solace, one of America’s most famous hospital ships handling large numbers of casualties and wounded. He spent the biggest part of the war in the Pacifi c Theater, being in charge of the ship’s primary surgery ward.
Following discharge, he returned to Artesia, where he worked for First National Bank before becoming vice president and manager of Artesia Savings and Loan. While serving there, he embarked on a civic eff ort aff ecting not only Artesia but the entire state, which changed the law from Building and Loan Act to N.M. Savings and Loan League.
Clayton served 11 years on the Artesia City Council and was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Artesia General Hospital Board, the Civil Defense Council, the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on spending, the Municipal Parking Authority, and the Urban Renewal Agency. As chairman of that agency, he worked on a massive project to overhaul the area around Eagle Draw, which prevented the city from fl ooding, as well as creating a park.
He was appointed as a substitute municipal judge from 1992-96. In addition, he served as chairman of the North Eddy County Red Cross Board and was a member of the Valley Lions Club. He was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and a longtime member of First United Methodist Church, serving on their Finance Committee.
Clayton served as president of Roswell Savings and Loan and, later, as vice president of the Valley Savings and Loan branch in Lovington. Upon retirement in 1982, he returned to Artesia.
Survivors include his wife, Clara Menefee of the family home; granddaughter Cindy Barley and husband Joel of Artesia; son-in-law Porkey White and wife Sharon of Indiana; sisters-in-law Helen Menefee of Alamogordo and Rosella Lee of Albuquerque; brothers-in-law Raymond Jones and wife Nancy of Artesia, and Earl Jones and wife Shannon of Dexter; great-grandsons Alan Barley and Matthew Barley and wife Katie, both of Colorado, and Wesley Barley and wife Kandice of Artesia; grandsons Henry White and Jesse White and wife Karen, both of Indiana; 10 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; one great-great-great-grandchild; numerous nieces and nephews; and two grand-dogs.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Howard, Clyde, Marvin, Lawrence, Glen, Don and Lynn; sisters Valera and Gladys; his fi rst wife, Maxine Menefee; stepdaughter Sarah Malone; and grandson Specialist First Class Raymond White.
No services are planned.
Cremation has taken place.
Memorial contributions may be made to the World War II Memorial, 1750 Independence Ave., Washington, D.C., 20024, designated for the Arizona Memorial; or a charity of choice.
The family wishes to express its thanks to Artesia General Hospital’s staff of doctors and the staff of Encompass Hospice for their care and support.