Roy Clayton Jeffery, age 85, beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and friend passed away in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 11,2020 after a valiant fight with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Delta, Utah on January 13,1935 to Wallace Truman and Mary Roper Jeffery, the fourth of seven children. Clayton grew up in a loving family on a farm 3 miles south of Delta. His father was a farmer and a dairyman and Clayton learned how to work at a young age. He was excited when on his 9th birthday he got his own milk bucket and soon learned how to help milk the cows.
Clayton graduated from Delta High School in 1953. He attended BYU for one year and then his plan was to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But because of the Korean War there could only be two missionaries from each ward, and those slots had been filled. Later he was able to serve as a Stake Missionary which he loved.
On September 10, 1954 Clayton married his High School Sweetheart, Betty Jean Leavitt, in the Salt Lake Temple. Their love story is one for the ages that will always be remembered by family. They lived in Delta for the first year of their marriage and then moved to Salt Lake where Clayton worked for Lang Company as a mechanic. He studied Mechanical Engineering for a year at the University of Utah.
The next summer Clayton’s Dad was having health problems so he moved his little family to Delta intending to help his Dad with the farm for the summer. Well it was a long summer and Clayton and Betty never regretted that decision. They ended up buying the farm and dairy from his parents and lived there for 60 years. He eventually expanded and started the Jeffery Dairy. For 20 years he bottled and sold State Inspected fresh raw milk to hundreds of families in Delta and surrounding areas. Through the years he gave away many gallons of milk to anyone he thought was in need. Clayton loved all the friends he made and got to see on a regular basis as they came to get milk. Over the years people would mention about coming to the dairy while they were growing up. Some say that’s how they learned to drive. After he left the dairy business he worked for 10 years at the Intermountain Power Plant. He made many friends and enjoyed his time there.
He loved working on the farm. He said it was a great way of life and even if you don’t make as much money as some other professions, you have to consider all the fun you have and the satisfaction there is in working the land and seeing crops grow. Over the years Clayton had the opportunity to serve in many capacities relating to the farm and dairy industries. He was President of the Stockshow in 1969-70. Chairman for Millard County Dairy Assoc., Director and Secretary of the Millard County Drainage District #2 for 40 years and on the Melville Irrigation board for 12 years. He also served as Chairman for 13 years on the Millard County Water Conservancy District.
Clayton had a keen mind, positive attitude and strong work ethic which he passed on to his children. They were blessed to work alongside him and learned many life lessons. He shared stories of his life and love of the gospel and many good discussions were had as they would listen to scriptures as they milked. One of his passions was riding motorcycles, 4 wheelers or a side by side where he had many adventures with his wife or friends or sons or whoever he could get to go with him. He would transform into a kid when he got on the seat which caused a some wild rides and accidents but he survived them all. He loved giving his kids and grandkids rides and sharing with them his sense of adventure. He was a gifted poet writing many poems to his wife and children. He could fix anything, invent things and mend broken hearts. He loved to whistle and Betty would often ask him to whistle different songs for her as they travelled in the car. He could imitate bird calls perfectly and you could often hear him whistling while he worked. It’s one of his family’s fondest memories of him. He loved a good joke anytime. His wit and humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him. After he retired, he and Betty were able to travel going on several trips to Europe and places in the US as they attended many family blessings, baptisms, graduations, weddings, funerals and sometimes travelling just for fun.
He was a lifelong faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served in many callings. Sharing his testimony to his family and friends was an important part of who he was. Whether it was in person or in writing. He served a Church Service Mission as Manager of the Deseret Industries for 3 years with his wife volunteering by his side. He also loved serving as an ordinance worker with Betty for 12 years in the Manti Temple. This was one of the highlights of their life.
His most cherished memories came from spending time with his family. He made his kids and grandkids feel special and gave the best bear hugs and dry shaves. His whole family felt of his unconditional love and we are so grateful for the legacy he has left us.
Clayton is survived by Betty, his loving wife of 65 years; 7 children: Lorna (Danny) Young, Barbara (Aaron) Gibson, Kathy (Chris) Huber, Becky ( Rick) Weickum, Brent (Leann) Jeffery, Darrin (Julie) Jeffery, Wayne (Sam) Jeffery; sisters: Deanna (Gerald) Naylor, Carol (David) Van Wagoner; sister-in-law: Aulene Bradshaw; 33 grandchildren and 65 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by his parents; son: Russell C Jeffery; sisters: Marjorie Riding and Lyla Jeffery; brothers: Truman Jeffery, Ray Jeffery; grandson: Kenny Hendricks; sons-in-law: Todd Swalberg, Steve Thorne, Ken Hendricks and Richard Jackson.
A public viewing for his friends and family will be held on Saturday, April 18, 9:30-10:40 am at the Nickle Mortuary. Family Funeral Services will follow, then the Graveside will be held at 12:30 pm at the Delta City Cemetery. Watch video of the funeral service celebrating his life at https://youtu.be/vxOxJzwj-Zc