Jeanette M. Clayton, 97

Published 7:01 am Sunday, November 13, 2016

After 97 years, Jeanette M. (Rettig) Clayton completed her long and blessed journey of life on Nov. 9, 2016, at St. Mark’s Assisted Living in Austin, Minnesota, surrounded by her children.



Born on Oct. 5, 1919, in Brownsdale, Minnesota, to Anna Louise (Zander) and Christian Valentine Rettig during the influenza pandemic, Jeanette was baptized at home which was the beginning of a lifetime of unwavering faith. She met the love of her life, James A. Clayton, in the Hormel cafeteria, and they were married on March 29, 1946. They enjoyed 63 years together as husband and wife and best friends. Throughout their marriage, they raised five children, enjoyed six grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Jeanette attributed her longevity in part to their 60 years of square dancing which challenged their minds, strengthened their bodies, and nourished their spirits. They were blessed with several retirement years split between Minnesota summers and Texas winters.

A quietly strong woman, Jeanette was a creative writer of family history, short fiction, and poetry. She was a prolific painter of roses and landscapes.

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A woman of strong faith, Jeanette was the last charter member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Brownsdale, Minnesota, where a memorial service and interment will take place when the entire family can gather at a later date. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at St. Mark’s Chapel, 400 15th Ave. NW, Austin.

Heartfelt thanks to the staff of St. Mark’s Assisted Living and St. Croix Hospice for their caring and kindness.

Jeanette’s life-long mottos were “Don’t let the sun set on your anger,” and “This too shall pass.” She believed there was no such thing as luck – only blessings. In the sweetness of memory, let there be much laughter and many blessings.

Jeanette is survived by her children, Mary (Steven) Siet, James (Jimmy), Anne Fifer, Steve, and Ruth (Jim) Vale; grandchildren, Blair (Joelle) Overton, Angela (Steve) Jezierski, Anna (Ryan) Eidem, Crystal (Shane) Dillon, and Mark Siet; 13 great-grandchildren; and her “adopted” daughter Jelaine Kvasnicka.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Jim; parents, sister, and brothers; son-in-law (Will Fifer); grandson (Michael Peterson); and beloved Yorkie, Max.