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Betty Anne Clayton

January 29, 1924 May 15, 2018
Betty Anne Clayton
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Obituary for Betty Anne Clayton

Betty Anne (Lorch) Clayton, age 94, passed away on May 15, 2018 in Peoria, Illinois. She was born on January 29, 1924, to William and Myrtle Lorch in Peoria. While attending Bradley University, she met Lt. Roger William Clayton in January, 1944 during the height of World War II, and they were married a month later on February 20, 1944 at First Federated Church in Peoria. He passed away on April 7, 2001, after 57 wonderful years together.

Surviving are her son, Roger Clayton (Dana) of Peoria and beloved grandsons Roger III (San Diego); Colin (Los Angeles); and Chandler (Nashville). She is also survived by her nephew William Lorch (Mary Kay and Eric) (Anchorage), brother-in-law Jon Clayton (Marlene), and sisters-in-law, Farlene Clayton, Joan Clayton and Marie Irwin.

She was preceded in death by her mother, father, brother, sister and infant son.

Betty Anne graduated from Manual High School in 1942 where she was salutatorian and active in the Stephen Foster Singers. She furthered her education at Bradley University and Colorado College and ultimately became a voice teacher at Bradley.

She sang and performed nationally and at one point was invited by Lawrence Welk to move to Hollywood to become the “Champagne Lady” on his popular TV show. Locally, she performed programs throughout the Midwest with Jim Maloof and Dirk McGinnis. She was a soloist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Club and Peoria Municipal Band. At various times she had weekly programs on WEEK TV and WMBD TV. For many years, she was a soloist and quartet member at First Federated Church and Temple Anshai Emeth.

Contributing to the civic and cultural life of Peoria, she was President of the Symphony Guild, Vice-President of Amateur Musical Club and a Board Member of the Peoria Symphony. Betty Anne also enjoyed teaching private voice lessons in her home studio.

Betty Anne was a very happy person with a lovely smile and invigorating personality. She greatly loved her family, friends, pets, music, crossword puzzles and playing bridge. Peoria was her home, and she truly loved it here.

Cremation has been accorded. A private family service will be held at a later date.

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