Doris May (née Rave) Clayton, age 88 of Murfreesboro, TN, died peacefully on March 15, 2017, at Adams Place in Murfreesboro.
She was born on July 21, 1928, in Hicksville, NY, to Edward Christopher and Florence Mabel Rave.
Doris's career as a highly respected teacher began with the attainment in 1949 of a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Upon graduation, she received the Delta Kappa Key prize, "awarded to the most outstanding member of the graduating class chosen for her contribution to the college, excellence of character, superior scholarship, and teaching ability." She then taught in elementary and middle schools on Long Island, NY, and in Brookline, MA, before moving with her husband and children to Sewanee, TN, in 1970. There she continued as a teacher of middle-school English until her retirement in 1985. As late as December 2016, Doris spoke with great pride of her earliest teaching and school administration experience, helping to set up an elementary school in the new and expanding community of Levittown, NY. Doris was a lifelong advocate of public education and an equally strong supporter of teachers and other education professionals. Generations of students and their parents mentioned her special gifts and generosity as a teacher. The unlocking potential of education was a principle she held dear all her life, and the attainment of educational, musical, and artistic milestones in her children and grandchildren's lives filled her with pride and gave her immense joy.
Doris retired from teaching in 1985, and remained living in Sewanee, TN, until 2011. She continued to keep busy in a variety of community roles and took particular joy in travelling to visit children and grandchildren, both in the USA and Europe. Doris was proud of her identity as a 'New Yorker', and many of these travels involved exploring places from her youth and showing them to her children so that the family's legacy in that part of America is remembered. A committed churchgoer, Doris found her spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. The move in 2011 from Sewanee, TN, to Murfreesboro took Doris and James away from friends and familiar places, but they found a new home at Adams Place and at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. These communities brought them much happiness and comfort.
Doris will be remembered by her family for her lifelong interests in literature and education, her generous and warm nature, her love of music and the arts, her pride in keeping a beautiful home, and her sense of fun and humor, which continued almost to her death.
Doris is preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, James Winston Clayton (d. November 20, 2016).
She is survived by her children, Douglas Clayton of Acton, MA, Susan Lewis of Murfreesboro, TN, and Deborah Lister of Malvern, U.K.; 8 grandchildren, Amanda Day, Charles Lister, Anna Lister, Collin Lewis, Emily Lister, Benjamin, Noah and Henry Clayton; 2 great-grandchildren, Oscar Lister and Marshall Day; and a niece, Mary Rifenburg of Fort Myers, FL.
A memorial service and burial of ashes will take place at a later date.
For further information and an online guestbook, please go to www.woodfinchapel.com.