Larry Claxton May 18, 1935 - Oct. 18, 2014 NILES - Larry Gene Claxton, age 79 years, of Niles, Michigan died Saturday evening, October 18, 2014 at his home following a brief illness. He was born on May 18, 1935 in Plymouth, Indiana to Roscoe A. and Violet V. (Dutcher) Claxton, and graduated from South Bend Central High School. He was the Indiana State High School Wrestling Individual State Champion at 103 pounds in the 1951-52 season. He was also a competitive swimmer.
He served in the United States Army during Peacetime.
He came to Niles in 1961 and built the house which has been his family's home. For the past 28 years, he and his wife were winter residents "snow birds" of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Larry was a Journeyman Electrician with the United Auto Workers Union Local #9 in South Bend, was first employed at the former Kawneer Company in Niles, and was retired from Bendix Automotive in South Bend. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2094 in Niles, the Loyal Order of the Moose #449 in Buchanan, and the M.R.Falcons #4 in South Bend. He had participated in the Kawneer bowling league, played golf at Plym Park, and followed coverage of NASCAR auto racing. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially the trips to the lodge in the Upper Peninsula near Crystal Falls. His greatest interest was his family, often attending his granddaughter's soccer and volleyball matches.
On October 8, 1955 at Saint Hedwig Catholic Church in South Bend he married the former Antoinette Chelminiak with whom he celebrated the fifty-ninth anniversary of their wedding. Surviving family includes his wife, Angie Claxton and their son, Jerry (& Cynthia) Claxton and their daughter, Marissa Claxton; a daughter, Anne (& Doug) Berg; Larry's sister, Barbara (& Bernie) McCleary of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by a brother, Harold Dean Claxton.
The family of Larry Claxton will host a sharing of memories on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from noon until 3:00 p.m. at the Niles Eagles Lodge, 34 Sycamore Street. Contributions in memory of Larry may be made to an organization of the donor's choice. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles. www.halbritterfunerals.com
Published by South Bend Tribune on Oct. 22, 2014.