NORTH ANDOVER — Alden Gould Clayton, a resident of Edgewood in North Andover, died on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010.
Mr. Clayton was born on Sept. 4, 1920, in Providence, R.I., to the late Ernest and Maude (Burton) Clayton, and graduated from Moses Brown School and Amherst College, Class of 1942. A graduate of the "90-day wonder" officer training program, he served as a Naval officer during World War II, first aboard a Yippee shrimp boat, protecting the coast of Florida from German U-boats, and then aboard the destroyer USS Knapp, DD 653, screening the aircraft carrier task forces as they traveled across the Pacific Ocean. Lucky to escape Japanese Kamikaze fire and to survive the great typhoon of December 1944 that took out other ships in the Third Fleet, the USS Knapp was awarded ten battle stars, and Mr. Clayton, among several officers, received the Bronze Star.
Mr. Clayton worked for many years in marketing research for Lever Brothers in New York City, living in Springdale and New Canaan, Conn. During that period, he earned a M.A. in psychology from the New School for Social Research. He joined Marketing Science Institute (MSI) in Cambridge, Mass., in 1974, and subsequently became President. He retired from MSI in 1986. Mr. Clayton and his wife Nancy traveled widely to observe birds and other wildlife and collected books about ornithology.
Mr. Clayton was a member of the Nuttall Ornithological Club and participated actively in the Brookline Bird Club, Bird Observer and Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch in many roles. He played an important part in preserving Half-Mile Hill in North Andover. He was a lifelong learner, discovering "the grand opera" in the last year of his life by attending live performances of the Metropolitan Opera in North Andover via satellite transmission. He often said that his only regret in life was that he could have seen all the pelagic birds of the Pacific Ocean had he been a bird-watcher when he was in the Navy.
Mr. Clayton was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Nancy (Jencks) Clayton. He is survived by his sister, Eleanor Angell Clayton, of San Francisco; his son, Geoffrey Alden Clayton, of Woodinville, Wash.; his daughter, Christina Elizabeth Clayton, of Old Lyme, Conn.; four grandchildren, Brandon and Eric Clayton, and Georgina and Ari Kolber; and many friends and admirers.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held at the Stevens Estate in North Andover on Sept. 4, 2010, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Massachusetts Audubon Society Bird Conservation Program, c/o Mass. Audubon, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773; or Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch, c/o EMHW, P.O. Box 663, Newburyport, MA 01950. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Conte Funeral Home, 17 Third St., North Andover, MA 01845. To sign the family guest book, please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com.