Steven D. Clayton (May 1, 1954 – July 21, 2018), visionary, entrepreneur, devoted mentor and philanthropist, loving family man and friend, is being remembered for the countless lives that were touched by his loving heart and generous spirit.
A native of the Miami / Fort Lauderdale area in Florida, he overcame adversity to become a celebrated high school athlete, graduate from Florida State University with a business degree and launch a career in the health care field. He founded a company, Physical Therapy Resources, that grew to become a national chain with branches throughout the country.
He sold the company in 1995 and turned his attention from building a thriving business to building young lives. In what Steven referred to as “close philanthropy,” he personally mentored countless youth and young adults, providing them with education, guidance, support and love, and launching them into productive careers. After moving to the Carolinas, he was involved in other charitable and community service endeavors as well, such as serving on the editorial board of the Lake Wylie Pilot newspaper in South Carolina.
Despite his immense success, Steven found elitism distasteful and remained as comfortable in the company of gardeners and tradesmen as he was with captains of industry and finance. A proverbial Renaissance man, his diverse interests ranged from writing poetry and collecting art and sculpture, to travel, golf, hiking and boating. As good-humored as he was outspoken, knowledgeable on many subjects and one of the most naturally gregarious people on earth, Steven brightened any room he entered. He could engage friends and strangers alike with a playful quip, a kind gesture and the ever-present twinkle in his eyes.
Steven was a true original who cut his own unique and brilliant path through life, and invited friends and family to travel along with him. He was enjoying his newly renovated waterfront home in Lake Wylie, SC, and looking forward to breeding his beloved Italian Greyhounds when his life came to an untimely and malicious end.
While the loved ones he left behind still struggle with the tragedy and heartache of his death, they know that heaven continues to rejoice in his homecoming. In faith, we all look with gladness towards the day when his boyish smile and exuberant laughter will greet us once again!
Steven was preceded in death by his beloved father, Raul D. Clayton. Steven’s memory will forever be cherished by 4 sisters, nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces, godchildren, cousins, friends, business colleagues and the countless young lives he mentored.
Family members and friends are being asked to gather between Noon and 12:30 pm. on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Evergreen Cemetery, 1300 SE 10th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Steven’s remains will be escorted into the cemetery where committal rites will be offered by Father Ron Perkins as well as remarks from Fort Lauderdale City officials and special musical presentations will be shared. Steven will be interred alongside his beloved father and a beautiful dove release representing Steven’s final flight home will conclude this portion of the service.
An escorted motorcade will leave Evergreen Cemetery, making the journey for Steven’s family to attend a private memorial. His family will have one last opportunity to celebrate Steve as they once knew him and will forever remember him. Following remarks by Pastor Leslie A. Rutland-Tipton, live musical selections will be presented. Closing prayers will be offered during a special reading, followed by a breathtaking final farewell. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Steven D. Clayton Memorial Foundation, which has been established to continue Steven’s life-long legacy of mentoring and guiding youth, and providing college scholarships.
Life Celebrations Memorial Services is honored to have been entrusted by the Clayton family with the final accommodations for Steven.