James Clayton Kilgore

James Clayton Kilgore


James Clayton Kilgore of Perdido Beach, AL passed from this home to his eternal one on October 24, 2022. Clayton was the only child of Rebecca Paisley Kilgore and James Henry (Jim) Kilgore, born on May 22, 1928 in Troy AL

He grew up in Philadelphia, MS, playing football for the Tornados and graduating in 1945. After

His graduation from MIssissippi State, Clayton married his high school sweetheart, Jane Dees, and began his 38 year career with the J.C. Penney

Co. Jane and Clayton transferred to cities all over the South, retiring as a district manager in Slidell, La in 1987. The next year they moved to their home on Perdido Bay and spent time also in Clayton’s childhood home in Philadelphia, enjoying life with high school and college friends.

Clayton had many loves including reading, music, dogs, fishing, gardening, the MS State Bulldogs, the Neshoba County Fair, his J.C. Penney family and friends. Above all he loved his family. He served as deacon and Sunday School teacher at various churches throughout his life and was a lifelong student of God’s word. His humor, generosity, hospitality, kindness and genuine compassion enriched the lives of many. He was a good and faithful servant.

Clayton’s beloved Jane died in March, 2000, and he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 2015. He lived in his home at Perdido Beach, cared for by his daughters and caregivers. Clayton was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his brother-in-law, Jay Dees.

He is survived by daughters Becki Kilgore Stacks (Gene), Columbiana, AL, Karen Kilgore Crantford (Mark Rhodes), Houma, LA, Julie Kilgore Joyner (Rick), Fort Mill, SC, grandchildren Shay Reed (Matt), Molly Gaydosh (Jacob), Ruthie Braun (Corey), Clayton Crantford (Alex), Mary Marchand (Lon), William Crantford (Kenni), AnnaJane Joyner (Forrest), Aaryn Joyner Cleeland (Kell), Amber Joyner, Ben Joyner and Sam Joyner, sister-in-law Lori Dees, and nephews Tom Dees (Cathy) and Scott Dees (Edie); fourteen great grandchildren, two step-granddaughters and special caregiver Donna Laird.

In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to the Methodist Children’s Home in Montgomery AL, or the H.C.S.C. Foundation, c/o Larry Noble, 

15220 Green Valley Drive, Chino Hills, CA 91709. (A non-profit assisting J.C. Penney employees in need of financial help).

A celebration of Clayton’s life was held at his home in Perdido Beach AL Sunday, October 30, at 12:00 noon.

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