Clayton Engelhardt Stoess, 102, passed away peacefully on November 14 in the care of his family. Born July 4, 1918, in Crestwood, KY, where he was raised and lived most of his long and amazing life.
Graduating from U of L Speed School in 1940, he joined his father and brother in M A Stoess and Sons, the family businesses, including a funeral home, a hardware store, a car dealership, a construction company and a dairy.
Clayton joined the Navy in 1942 as WW II ensued. With his engineering degree he was sent to Cornell to study diesel engines and on to Columbia in NYC for Officers Training. Commissioned as a Lieutenant, he was made second in command on a mine sweeper headed for the Normandy coast where his ship was part of the Allies invasion on D-Day. While serving in the Pacific, Clayton was offered his own ship, but with Japan’s surrender, he chose to return to his treasured family and home in Crestwood. Soon thereafter he met Betty Ruth Richardson whom he married in 1949 and shared a loving, vibrant life until her passing in 2018.
Clayton and his brother, Milton Carl, grew Stoess Hardware and Stoess Funeral Home into long-running, successful businesses, all while devoting their lives to serving Crestwood and the South Oldham community. They developed much of the commercial real estate in Crestwood with the aid of a sewage treatment plant that Clayton designed, built and operated until Crestwood partnered with MSD to bring sewers to all of Crestwood.
After a devastating fire in 1949 Clayton and Milton Carl were part of the founding members and volunteers of the South Oldham Fire Department. He served 16 years on the Oldham County School Board, many of those as chairman. He was a founding member of the South Oldham Lions Club, past Grand Master of the local Masonic Lodge, a member of the Floydsburg Cemetery Board, and was important leadership in bringing MSD and Louisville Water to South Oldham. He was elected to the Crestwood City Council on which he served 30 years until he decided to retire at the age of 100! He was a lifelong member of Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church where he served in many roles.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 69 years, Betty Ruth, his father, Milton Armstrong Stoess, his mother, Dora Engelhardt Stoess, his brother Milton Carl Stoess, his sister, Muriel Margrete Stoess Cobb, and his grandson, Christopher Stoess Talley. He is survived by his son, Clayton E. Stoess, Jr. (Claudia), his daughter, Cynthia Lee Stoess Talley (Bill), his granddaughters, Leigh Clayton Stoess Stine (Jason) and Mary Lindsay Richardson Stoess Jennings (John), his grandsons, Cameron William Talley(Elizabeth), Clay Burdorf Talley (Lauren) and Barrett Clay Basham Stoess, 7 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Due to Covid 19 concerns, there will be no public service at this time. While on the City Council, Clayton had such devotion to seeing the park in Crestwood become a reality, helping arrange the purchase of the property from the Fanelli family. Should you choose to honor Clayton, you may donate in his honor to Friends of the Maples Park, PO Box 186,Crestwood. KY, as the City Council voted to dedicate a new flagpole and the surrounding area in the park to Clayton for his life of service to his community and our country. A Celebration of his Life is planned for July 4, 2021!
To send flowers to Clayton's family, please visit our floral store.