Earnest Clayton Epperson
Clayton Epperson was saved and joined his heavenly Father on May 10, 2011 after a 6 month battle with caner, he was 75. He was born in Okemah, OK on April 30, 1936. He was the first of nine children of Paul and Essie Epperson. He was a member of Pioneer Christian Church. A graveside service will be Friday, May 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Pastor Bill Beard, officiating. A Formal Visitation will be held at Trout Funeral Home from 6:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, May 12, 2011 where the family will be greeting friends.
Clayton graduated from Ponca City High School. He married Phyllis Thompson in 1956 and established their home together in Ponca City and had two children, Clay Allen and Diana Lynn.
Clayton always took pride in his family, work and his horses. He worked for Meadow Gold delivering milk on a retail route for two years. He was a certified welder and worked several years in the oil business welding oil equipment and drain tanks. He and Phyllis moved to Wichita where Clayton worked for Boeing Aircraft as a welder. They then moved back to Ponca City and Clayton worked as a Controlman for Continental Carbon for 30 years, where he retired. While working full time and raising his family, Clayton trained and raised quarter horses in Oklahoma and surrounding states from Newkirk, OK to LaMesa Park, NM. He led horses into the winners circle for the better part of 3 decades. The men he worked with at Continental Carbon affectionately called him “Race Horse”. Clayton won his 1st match in 1945 at 9 years old on the Ponca City bush track. From 1946-1952 he rode more than 1,000 races in the bushes. He rode briefly for the “trainer of trainers”, Sonny Jim Fitzsimmons in New York. Clayton was a lifetime friend of Charlie Burr, leading rider of the nation in 1957. He was also a huge fan Gene Autry and Jim Reeves.
Clayton is survived by his wife Lou Dean Epperson, his son Clay and his wife Jeannie of Schertz, TX; daughter, Diana Epperson of Ponca City, OK. Clayton loved his five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers, Bill, Rick, and Ron; three sisters, Joyce Brunhoeber, Sue McCarthy, and Paula Bales. He was also loved by many nieces and nephews.
Clayton is preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, his parents, and two brothers, Kenneth and Leroy.
Honorary casket bearers will be Eldon Nelson, Jim Akers, Jim Walker, Leonard Epperson, Jimmy Epperson, and Richard Epperson.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 1904 N. Union, Ste 103, Ponca City, OK 74601.