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James Donzell Clayton

November 19, 1953 September 7, 2021
James Donzell Clayton
There are condolences waiting approval on James's Tribute wall
Obituary for James Donzell Clayton
A celebration of James' life will occur on

Monday, September 20, 2021

Wood Funeral Home
5537-39 Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa. 19131

Viewing: 9:00 -10:00 a.m.

Service: 10:00 a.m.

A Livestream will be available for James' life
Please COPY or TYPE the following link
in order to access the service.


The Obituary

James Donzell Clayton (also known as Jimmy, Buttons and Rambo by some) was born on November 19, 1953 from the union of Inda Clayton and the late Sgt. James L. Clayton. in Schuylkill Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

James was raised in Philadelphia, PA and began his education at William B. Hannah Elementary School. As a small child, James began riding his bike and as he started testing his limits. James would sneak and ride farther and farther, expanding his boundaries and exploring the neighborhood. James continued on to William H. Shoemaker Middle School and graduated from Overbrook High School in 1971.

After graduation, James worked for Caldwell Casuals in the shipping and receiving department. He later worked for Septa starting in February of 1979 as a bus driver. James was a very charismatic driver and was loved by everyone that was on his bus. Passengers recognized him while he was traveling out of state and in other countries and they would always stop him to say hello. He started out of the Germantown Depot and retired from the Allegheny Depot. He was the driver for many routes: 65, 33, and 55. However, route 55 was his favorite. He remained with Septa for 33 years until his retirement in November of 2012.

James had many hobbies. He joined his mother as a member of the Rooster Channel Jumpers CB radio club and was known as Lord Darth Vader, talking to other members across the country. He was a member of the Allegheny Sunshine Club with his SEPTA co-workers, and they worked to build morale and help others with anything they needed. They took care of colleagues when they were sick and would collect donations to support other members and held annual Christmas parties for their families. They gathered funds to purchase a pool table for their depot and that was right up his James’s alley because he was an avid pool player. In addition to playing at the depot, he would bounce from pool hall to pool hall in the city. James and the members of the Allegheny Sunshine Club would host pool tournaments around the city with the other SEPTA depots.

James was a car fanatic. His souped up his Camaro with a 396 engine would race down Island Avenue. A neighbor, Mr. Price, gave James his family station wagon because he knew James would take care of it. James took great pride in teaching all the kids how to drive in the station wagon. He would take them out to Lincoln Drive and told them to “get at it”. By the time he was done all the kids had their driver's license.

James was also a technology buff and made sure he kept up with the latest trends. He could talk to you about everything that was new, how it worked and what you needed to keep it running smoothly.

In 1992 while on the 65 bus, he offered a lady some peanut butter crackers. It wasn’t until she got to work that she realized his phone number was attached to the crackers and that was the beginning of what would become a life-long relationship between James and Toni.

Toni had two sons and James stepped in and became their Father Figure and helped to support them. In addition to helping to raise her sons, he became the uncle and grandfather to everyone. He doled out advice, support, love and generosity. If anyone he knew needed anything, James would bend over backwards to help them. That’s just the type of man he was.

With being that type of man James was, he took on the role of being a registered block captain and worked to ensure that the residents of Redfield Street were taken care of. He even assigned himself the job of mowing lawns for his older neighbors, shoveling snow and weeding gardens.

James and Toni spent their best days on the go, traveling to many destinations. He was always ready to go and spared no expense in getting to see the world. He took pride in being able to take his grandsons out exploring and taking pictures to make memories.

James was the life of the party and had the gift of gab. He would strike up a conversation with anyone and could talk for days. He loved to have family and friends around for cookouts and gatherings. He wanted to be sure that everyone enjoyed themselves. He and his sister Dawn would hang out bar hopping, having a good time laughing and joking the night away until someone would interrupt the fun and Dawn would have to intervene to stop James from going off.

Once he retired, his mother’s multiple sclerosis became more of a challenge and James became her primary caregiver. He took pride in being able to care for her and ensure that she remained as comfortable as possible. He took her everywhere from shopping malls and restaurants to family reunions and vacations. He was proud to be able to provide for her, after the life that she provided for him.

On Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 at the age of 67, James said his final goodbye. He was preceded in death by his father Sgt. James L. Clayton and his brother Gene Clayton. James leaves behind to cherish his memory, his mother Inda Clayton, his sister Sabrina Nedabylek, loving partner Toni Austin; sons Timothy Austin and Tony Austin; grandsons Maurice Peaker, Timothy Austin, Mekhi Austin, Braheim Hightower-Jones, and Reese Davis; daughter in laws Lanice Austin, Atia Reid and Tara Tyler; God sister Dawn Wallace and her children; special nieces Rhona Austin and Kineathea Austin; God daughter Deloris Jenkins and her daughter Sue; his uncle Henry Stewart; cousins the Bacon sisters - April, Colleen, Lisa, Ebony, Rhonda, Trina and Barbara Harris; and a host of relatives, friends and neighbors.

Special acknowledgement to his Redfield Street neighbors; Mr. and Mrs. Graves, Mr. & Mrs. Price, Mr. & Mrs. Rooney, Mrs. Turner and his SEPTA family.

We request family and friends who prefer
to send plants or flowers,
to coordinate with one of the
following reliable local florists:..

June's Floral Design: (610) 726-4351
Overhill Flowers: (215 ) 473-1842
Simply Floral: ( 610) 622-7980

Have the florist deliver
your selection
to the funeral home no
later than 8:30 a.m.
the day of the service.

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Previous Events





9:00 AM 9/20/2021 9:00:00 AM - 10:00 AM 9/20/2021 10:00:00 AM
Wood Funeral Home, Inc.

5537-39 W. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Wood Funeral Home, Inc.
5537-39 W. Girard Ave. Philadelphia 19131 PA
United States





10:00 AM 9/20/2021 10:00:00 AM
Wood Funeral Home, Inc.

5537-39 W. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Wood Funeral Home, Inc.
5537-39 W. Girard Ave. Philadelphia 19131 PA
United States

Cemetery Details


Rolling Green Memorial Park Final Resting Place

1008 West Chester Pike
West Chester, PA 19382

1008 West Chester Pike West Chester 19382 PA
United States

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