January 20, 1925 - September 16, 2016
Born in New Rochelle, NY
Resided in Cincinnati, OH
****** EULOGY FOR CLAYTON WERDEN, Junior ******
Clayton Davis Werden Jr. was born in New Rochelle, New York in a blizzard Jan 20 1925. The snow was so bad the doctor had to spend the night. We heard how he walked miles to school from his house and how he walked the tracks for coal and would "procure" milk during the depression. His life was full of stories, poems jokes which were all memorized and it has taken many members of the family to remember what one man had in his brain. He was always looking for the best opportunity to seize and "can't do" was not a possibility.
As a boy he was involved in Boy Scouts and hiked a lot of the Appalachian trail and spent summers at Camp Restwell on Lake George. He chartered and was Scoutmaster of troop 559 at All Saints Episcopal Church and also received his campaign hat from Baden Powell. At the age of 17, he joined the Air Force and was told the Boy Scouts were down the street. Because of his knowledge he became a teacher/trainer for navigation and radio for the B-17. He was small enough to crawl thru the wings of B17's to search for stress cracks in wings and struts of plane thus saving a lot of time and received a lot of privileges because of this.
When his family moved to Cincinnati the house was where the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church parking lot is now. While on leave he was on the porch with his girlfriend when a young woman with long auburn hair and her mother stopped in to tell Clayton Sr. (Clayt's father) to pick her up for work at Wrights Aeronautical as she was ready to go back to work after losing her husband. He learned that this beautiful woman (Laura) and her mother had a 1939 Nash and didn't know how to drive so he seized the moment and made a date to teach them how to drive. Laura joked he was a bad teacher thus being able to make multiple dates to teach driving or whatever. They were married a year later on June 30, 1946 at PRPC. They drove this 39 Nash to Niagara Falls and back to New Rochelle for their honeymoon.
After the service he worked for the City of Cincinnati, RCA, and Wilfert Electric, and grew tired of working for someone else. So he started Clayt Werden Electric out of his mother-in-law's house at 3096 Losantiville and the 1939 Nash. Using this car to haul work supplies and he strapped items on top without leaving a scratch. They soon purchased a house on Ridge Rd to run the business out of and built a garage from spare wood at job sites that were being thrown away. He was a child of the depression who utilized recycled items into useful purposes. You never know when you might need a spare part off of an item that would have been thrown away. They received a used "Coldspot" refrigerator as a wedding gift and is still their main refrigerator in the kitchen today.
He was a genius before his time. He thought outside of the box, could think around any obstacle, could build or fix anything, and had trouble submitting to authority. In 1974 he made a luxury cart out of two golf carts and brought it to Lakeside and the cart was banned and had to be removed, so he went to the State of Ohio and submitted a bill of material, labor, and related documents and they gave him a title for an "Experimental Roadster". He then purchased a real license plate and used the cart at Lakeside for 30 years.
In 1952 he was called upon to rescue the siren system in Hamilton County and he designed an activation system with Cinti Bell to activate sirens via telephone landlines. For the next 60 years he sold, maintained, installed over 125 more sirens in the county. In 1960 all the outside wiring in Huston Woods (cabins, water plant, dock, campsites, etc) was done by Clayt and his workers. At Lakeside he rebuilt the water purification plant, pumping station, and installed the intake 200' out into Lake Erie. He also recognized the need for emergency lighting at rescues and fires so he got Husman to donate a truck and Civil Defense to donate generators. He worked hundreds of hours to outfit the truck into a viable fire rescue truck that was actually housed at Engine 8 on Montgomery Rd. and Langdon Farm. The Cincinnati Fire Department called his volunteers for every multiple alarm and was police escorted to the Beverly Hills fire.
What he usually was involved in, he did with passion. He was a member of PRPC church for 74 years and singing in choir 65 of those years. He was an elder, trustee, and involved in their Minstrel shows. He was a volunteer fireman for Lakeside where he recently received his 50 year pin. Joined the Masonic lodge in 1955 and was Master in 1966 and then served as Secretary for over 20 years.
He was the "Rich man" and "Poor man" for St John's Passion play where he also served on the board.
He was always full of advice whether or not you wanted it. He recently was giving his grandson advice at Lakeside this summer. Always walk on outside of sidewalk with a young lady so she won't get wet if a car splashes in a puddle.
We spent many hours at Lakeside playing Rummikub his favorite game. And he enjoyed using the same word search puzzles without a pencil so he could reuse it over and over again. He always enjoyed meatloaf and potatoes but you always had to have a dessert for his sweet tooth at every meal.
Remember the mighty oak was once a nut like you.
Kids are to be seen not heard
What do you mean you want to have fun……….work is fun!
That's it…………..Tell your mother how to milk ducks
It's hard to be humble when you are as great as me.
There was a girl from St Paul
Who wore a paper dress to the ball
The dress caught on fire
And burned up her attire
Front page, sports section and all
She could swing a 6 pound dumbbell
She could fence and could box
She could row upon the river and ramble among the rocks
She could golf from morn to evening and play tennis all day long
But she couldn't help her mother case she wasn't very strong
Twas midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight
When I stepped into the drugstore to get myself a light
The man behind the counter was a woman old and gray
Who used to peddle donuts on the road to Mandalay
Her children six were orphans except the tiny tot
Who lived across the street above the vacant lot
When I was hungry and tempted for to steal
I went up to a farmhouse and asked them for a meal
They led me to the kitchen, but there I could not eat
There were two dead mice on the floor
There was a pig behind the door
And in the corner stood the chicken coup
Oh the butter had red hair and the baby had both feet stuck in the soup
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Cincinnati, OH US 45242
Cincinnati, OH US 45242
Cincinnati, OH US 45213
Cincinnati, OH US 45242