Jon Norfleet Claybourn Sr.
June 5, 1941 - May 27, 2021
Jon Norfleet Claybourn Sr. of Bay City, Texas passed away May 27, 2021. He was born June 5, 1941, in El Campo, Texas to Guy Raymond, Sr., and Blanche Louise (Kirkwold) Claybourn.
Jon was much-loved as a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who endeared himself to his family by his selflessness and devotion. He also had many good friends who relished his sense of humor and companionship.
He grew up in Palacios, Texas, loving the outdoors. He lived on the bay shore, observing the wildlife, fishing and taking frequent camping trips with childhood friends. He also enjoyed hanging out at the pharmacy’s soda fountain. On summer break he frequented the air-conditioned movie theater where he would escape the summer heat and have popcorn and a candy bar while watching a double feature, newsreel, and several cartoons, all for a dime and still have a penny change.
While in high school, Jon participated in sports, qualifying for regionals in track and field as a senior, and playing tight end on the football team, and also basketball. He excelled scholastically, graduating in the top five of his class. He was class Vice President and graduated from Palacios High School in 1959. He joined a band named The Jokers, where he started out playing guitar, but at the request of band leader Kenneth Mixon, agreed to switch instruments and became the bass player. The band proved to be very popular, playing current hits at many dance halls in the region. After Jon left the band to raise his family, they went on to further renown, playing larger clubs including The Dome Shadows, near the Astrodome. None other than Glen Campbell sat in with them for a few songs on this gig. Jon left the band after his marriage to his first wife, Winona Jo (Dodie) Mangum, to provide support for his growing family. For a short time, he was a mail carrier while living on Duson Street in Palacios with his wife and oldest son. The family grew in 1962 with the addition of son, Lane and after moving to Bay City, he worked in the construction business for his wife’s stepdad Lindy Lane, who oversaw many area construction projects and was well-known as building the Teepee Motel just north of Wharton.
In 1964 he was hired as an operator with Celanese Chemical Company near Bay City, and he welcomed his third son, Michael to the family the same day, calling him his good luck charm. As the years went on, he decided to make a move at work which would allow him to work straight days, and became an analyzer tech. He had lacked the required knowledge, so he completed a correspondence course from the Cleveland Institute of Electronics in order to be free in the evenings to support his sons as they participated in sports. Jon was employed with Celanese for 34 years, until his retirement in 1998.
He had many interests in life, becoming a very good cook, especially barbeque. He learned how to mechanic, repairing his own vehicles, and passed that knowledge on to his sons. He was an avid fisherman. and enjoyed hunting too, taking several trips with lifelong friends Lacey Lowry, Jack Traylor, and Charles White. He enjoyed playing sports with his three sons, and also watching pro sports on television and in person, making many trips to see the Houston professional teams and even to Dallas to watch his beloved Cowboys. He enjoyed many trips to the beach, camping trips with his family, listening to his music, showing off his dancing skills at local dance halls, and enjoying the company of many friends and his expanding family, spending time with them frequently, but especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jon continued to play his bass at home late into life and even formed a trio with new friends from Palacios.
Jon met the love of his life, Sandra Kaye, in 1990 and they were married in 1991, and thus added two more members to the family, stepsons, Christopher and Leslie. They spent 30 wonderful years together, enjoying many adventures, fishing on his boat, attending local dances, going to parties, making trips to Houston for sporting events and concerts, jaunts to Las Vegas, and even a cruise to Alaska.
Jon was preceded in death by his parents, Guy Raymond Sr. and Blanche Louise Claybourn; as well as siblings. Guy Raymond Jr., Marion, Marshall, Jimmy, Lura Nell; daughter-in-law, Beverly Claybourn; and nephew, Keith Dyson.
He is survived by wife, Sandra Kaye Claybourn; sons, Jon N. Claybourn Jr., Guy Lane Claybourn (Christine), Michael Lacey Claybourn (Diana); and stepsons, Christopher Johnston (Veta) and Leslie Johnston. He is also survived by sister, Joann Dyson (Talmadge); grandchildren, Noble Blythe, Justin Blythe, Stephanie Ramirez, Becca Claybourn, Guy Claybourn, Christi Batchelor, Jo Marie Salter, Michael Claybourn Jr., Jennifer Calderon, Clarisa Claybourn, Lauren Johnston, Grant Johnston, and Kayla Ballard. He was also blessed by 25 great grandchildren, and 25 nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to “caregiver and angel,” Sandy Ford.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Palacios Funeral Home in Palacios, Texas. Funeral services will follow at 3 p.m. Honorary pallbearers are Lacey Lowry, Betty Cooke, Dick Eaton, Marvin Hurta, and Bruce Hart.
Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.taylorbros.net.
Arrangements are with Palacios Funeral Home, Palacios, Texas; 361-972-2012.