Cover photo for Coach John "Rusty" Clayton's Obituary
Coach John "Rusty" Clayton Profile Photo
1937 Coach John 2023

Coach John "Rusty" Clayton

November 7, 1937 — November 12, 2023

Coach John “Rusty” Clayton Coach John “Rusty” Clayton, 86, of Cleveland passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2023, surrounded by his loved ones. Rusty graduated from Bradley Central High School and then Tennessee Tech University, receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He had a long history in athletics, having coached football, track and basketball at Bradley Central High, Ooltewah High, TMI, Sweetwater High, McMinn County and Chattanooga Central. Rusty played halfback for William F. Smith at Bradley Central. Football fans will remember him running four touchdowns, defeating Rossville, GA that had been Georgia State champs for a number of years. He was known for his long punt returns for touchdowns. He was voted most athletic at Bradley his senior year. Rusty continued his football career at Tennessee Tech, where he excelled at halfback for four years. He was an avid weightlifter, starting weight lifting programs at several schools, including Tennessee Tech where he also served as assistant football coach while working on his master’s degree. Rusty was inducted into the Bradley County Hall of Fame. He is one of the many great players that Bradley has produced over the years. He enjoyed gardening and spending time with his grandchildren. 

Rusty was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine “Jo” Clayton; parents, John Landon Sr. and Oneda Clayton; sister, Christine Fritz; brothers, Gerald Clayton and James Clayton.

He is survived by his son, David Clayton; daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and Beau Brown; 8 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren; brother, Donald “Donny” Clayton; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM, Friday, November 17, 2023, in the chapel of Poole-Serenity Funeral Home. 

Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM on Friday prior to the service.

Please visit https://www.serenityofcleveland.com/ for more information. Arrangements are entrusted to Poole-Serenity Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3010 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37312.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Coach John "Rusty" Clayton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, November 17, 2023

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Serenity of Cleveland Funeral Home & Cremation Services

3010 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37312

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, November 17, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Serenity of Cleveland Funeral Home & Cremation Services

3010 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37312

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Friday, November 17, 2023

3:00 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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