Bertes Alva Clayton

Bertes Alva Clayton lived a peaceful life in the country. She loved chickens and cows, and she grew vegetables and flowers in her garden.

“She was an excellent cook,” her son John Clayton said. “She liked to cook for everyone.”

She especially liked to grow tomatoes and can them, he said, along with other vegetables.

Mrs. Clayton died at Ashland Healthcare on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010.. She was 89.

She was born June 6, 1921 in Wickliffe, Ky., to Arthur Woodberry Bearsley and Gertie Pearl Dennis. She married Judson Freeman, who died earlier.

At the age of 50, Mrs. Clayton worked as a personal caretaker for the visiting nurses association. She was also a member of the new Bethel Baptist Church in Stover.

“She was a giving and loving person, ” her daughter, Susi Clayton, said. “She took care of people and helped them when she could. ”

As a personal caretaker, Mrs. Clayton helped older people in their homes.

“Many times, she allowed people who didn’t have a house to stay to come into her house to spend the night," John Clayton said. "She was always happy to provide food to them.”

“She was an independent thinker and was always willing to do what she thought was best,” he said.

Although she was not educated extensively, she did a lot of reading.

“She reads novels everyday. She had her own opinion about politics,” John Clayton said.

Mrs. Clayton is survived by five sons, Jack Freeman of Hartford, Ind., John Clayton of Vienna, Lloyd Clayton, Charles Clayton and Malcolm Clayton of Ashland; one daughter, Susi Clayton, of Ashland; one brother, Elgie Beardsley, of Kentucky; four sisters, Babe Ruth Austin of Kentucky, Marcella Davis of Missouri, Justine Norment of Michigan and Darlene McIntire of Illinois; 20 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.

Her parents died earlier, in addition to one son, Roy; one granddaughter, Mary Angela; two brothers and two sisters.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, at Robinson Funeral Home, 601 N. Henry Clay Blvd. in Ashland. Burial will follow in New Salem Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions can be given to the Missouri School for the Blind, 3815 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110, in care of the family.