Obituary: Spike Clayton, 1958-2019 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Spike Clayton, 1958-2019

Skirack co-owner placed ninth in 1984 Olympic trials

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Spike Clayton
  • Spike Clayton

Stephen “Spike” Haskew Clayton — beloved husband, father and Skirack co-owner — passed away at his home in Hinesburg on Friday, December 13, after an “active and outdoor” year-and-a-half-long battle with gastric cancer.

Born in Manchester, Vt., on November 27, 1958, as the son of Rev. Robert Leslie Clayton and Ruth Elizabeth Haskew, he grew up skiing Bromley Mountain, racing with the Yankee Pedlars and riding with the Dorset Training Group. He attended high school at Burr and Burton Academy and went on to race with the varsity Alpine ski team at the University of Vermont, where he graduated with a degree in political science and a minor in economics.

Following graduation, he pursued a professional cycling career, traveling across North America with his Stowe-Shimano team. Among countless wins, one of his most notable results was being a ninth-place finish in the 1984 Olympic trials.

He started working at the Skirack in 1984 and later became co-owner. Spike was passionate about his work; his mission was to introduce outdoor activities to as many as possible, and he contributed to the industry by serving on many national boards.

His greatest teammate was his wife, Katherine Kjelleren. The joys of their relationship were training, racing and devoting time to their family. They built their present home together and were married in 1989. Their sons Thomas and Kameron followed shortly after. Spike loved spectating and coaching his children’s sports. Through his quiet and humble presence, he imparted his wisdom: to be positive, work hard and never give up.

He will be missed by his wife, Katherine Kjelleren; sons Thomas Clayton and Kameron Clayton and his wife, Grace Zebertavage; brothers Robert and Thomas “Pepper” Clayton; loving mother-in-law Lorelei Palmer Kjelleren; aunt Fran Wurlitzer; sister-in-law Julia Clayton; brothers-in-law Gary and Don Kjelleren; cousin Stephanie Conner; nieces Haley, Danna, M., Kew, Bel and Sarah; nephews Hayden, Ben and Omar; and countless other loving family and friends.

A celebration of his life will be held at Sleepy Hollow Inn at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 22. His family welcomes you to join them for a memorial cross-country ski prior to the service at 8:30 a.m. Memorial gifts may be made to Little Bellas at littlebellas.givingfuel.com/spike-clayton.

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