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Jeffery Lynn Clayton, 65, of Homosassa Springs, FL died peacefully in his sleep at home on March 30, 2023. He was born in Toledo, Ohio on May 3, 1957, the oldest son of the late Robert J. and Barbara Perkins Clayton, Sr. He moved with his family to Casselberry, FL in 1972, where his father worked for Disney World in Orlando.
Jeff graduated in 1975 from Lyman High School, Longwood, FL, where he was a standout athlete in football, baseball and wrestling. He played football for Bethany College (WV) and Troy State College (AL). For several years he was a salesman for such companies as Hilti fasteners, Sea Ray boats and Golden Rule insurance. When he moved with Pitney Bowes to Chicago, his Jeep Scrambler was stolen the very first night he stayed in the city. His dream was to become a law enforcement officer and in 1989 he joined the City of Lakeland, (Florida) Police Department. During his police days, he served the K-9 unit with his beloved partner Snickers, Community Policing bicycle unit, Patrol unit, was a Field Training Officer, and Detective. During the police academy, he was awarded the Top Gun for his shooting ability and competed in the Police Olympics where he earned several medals with his shotgun. After he retired in 2015, he and his wife Tammy moved closer to the water and settled in Homosassa Springs where he battled several health issues.
He loved watching football, and being on a boat listening to Jimmy Buffett. He lived his life like a Jimmy Buffett song. He tried to convert all his friends to Parrot Heads, attended many concerts, and rarely listened to any other music. Many knew him as the Dancing Bear, a nickname that followed him from high school football through his police days. He had a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh.
He is survived by his wife of 19 years Tammy Christian Clayton, four siblings, Atwinda (JR Elisala), Ronnie (Brenda), Tammy (Joey Garrick) and Robert “Bobby” Jr. (Dianne); five children (with Susan Conrad Black m. 1985-2000) Randi (Bobby Callaway), Benjamin (Avery), Samuel, Jessi (Tyler Harden) and Jacob; three grandchildren, Brantley, Colton and Sage, three step-children Amy, Ryan, Kelan, a large extended family of nieces and nephews and many friends.
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