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Thomas L. Claxton, Jr. | 71 | Pittsfield

Thomas L. Claxton, Jr., age 71, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill.. He was born on March 28, 1950 in Oklahoma City, Okla. to Thomas L. and Joyce Light Claxton, Sr. He married Donna Trautwein on Sept. 22, 1973 in Oklahoma City, and she survives.
Tom graduated high school in Grain Valley, Mo. then went on to join the United States Army where he served in Vietnam. After his honorable discharge in 1970, he went to Culver Stockton College, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Social Studies in 1975. Tom began his teaching career at Lewis County C-1 District where he taught high school students. He relocated to Pittsfield in 1985 where he began teaching World History and American History to 6th through 8th graders for the Pikeland School District. He was also able to take many classes to Washington DC for field trips to further educate his students. Tom taught both of his sons in school and was very proud to pass his classroom podium to his son, Matthew, who is also a teacher. He also coached a variety of boys and girls sports teams at the Jr. High level through High School level over the decades including baseball, basketball, track, and volleyball. Tom had various interests outside of his teaching and coaching career such as model airplanes, playing and collecting guitars, fishing, and knitting and giving away hats. He was a huge sports fan collecting memorabilia and baseball/football cards, and his favorite teams were the Kansas City Chiefs, Oklahoma Spooners, and Kansas City Royals. Tom especially loved his cats as well as his pet rats. He will be remembered for being charismatic, extremely generous, and a disciplinarian when it came to handing out push ups in the classroom. He will be deeply missed by so many.
He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Donna Claxton; sons, Matthew Claxton of Godfrey, Ill. and Andrew (Amanda) Claxton of Griggsville, Ill.; four grandchildren, Nicholas Claxton, Nolan Claxton, Annabelle Claxton, and Arnold Claxton; two brothers, Brian Lemons of Oklahoma City, Okla. and Robert Joe Claxton of Roosevelt, Okla.; sister, Brenda (Glen) Edwards of Houston, Texas; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins; and many feline friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Joyce and Don Lemons; father, Thomas L. Claxton, Sr.; sister, Paula Estes; and beloved cat, Mitchell.
A public visitation was held on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Niebur Funeral Home in Pittsfield. In light of the suffering Tom endured due to Covid-19, the family asks that everyone attending wear a mask. Funeral services will be held privately and interment will be at Pittsfield West Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to be made to the Pike County All Wars Museum or the Pike County Animal Shelter. Online condolences may be left to the family at Niebur Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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