Clayton “Clay” Watson was born on April 15th, 1963, in Cortez, CO to Billy Watson and Deanna Striley. Clay passed unexpectedly on Sept 1st, 2021 while working in Nebraska. Clayton is survived by his daughter, Raeanne Watson-Vesper, and son-in-law Lance Vesper; his former wife Marlene Watson; stepmother Herma Watson; his siblings Devena Branson, Robert “Bruce” Uptain (Earlene), Lindy Brogden, Clint Watson (Freda), Kevin Watson (Chrissy); and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Billy D. Watson and mother Deanna Stirley.
Clay grew up in Dolores, CO with his family where he attended and graduated from Montezuma Country Cortez High School. Growing up, Clay helped his family with their family farm in Yellow Jacket, CO.
Shortly after graduating high school, Clay began working in the pipeline industry and did so for nearly 40 years. Clay was known as being a hard worker and was eventually promoted to purchasing agent which he was very proud of. He was a member of the Operating Engineers Local 139. During his career, Clay traveled much of the United States, picking up endless souvenirs and antiques which he cherished. Clay met many lifelong friends while working and considered them his extended pipeline family.
Although Clay traveled often, Dolores was always his home and where he found peace and comfort. Even when he started a family of his own, he didn’t move too far from home; only living minutes away from his childhood home. In Clay’s spare time he enjoyed fishing, hunting, ATVing, gardening, spending time at the family farm, and being with his family. In recent years, Clay liked watching and taking pictures of the wildlife around his home. He also became an avid collector of antique cars in which restored to their original beauty. Clay appreciated the simple things in life and didn’t feel he needed the modern technologies of today, until he discovered Netflix and their endless supply of movies. Most of all, Clay loved being with daughter Raeanne, his “Rae- Rae” or “pumpkin”. He was a wonderful father and cherished every moment he had with her.
Clay will be remembered as a kind and giving man (and also sometimes stubborn). He opened his heart and home to many. His family finds comfort knowing that he is with his father, Billy D, who was truly his best friend.
A celebration of Clay’s life will be held on Saturday Sept 11th, 2021 from 11AM-1PM at Ertel Funeral Home in Cortez, CO. All are welcome to come and share their memories of Clay.