Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Edna Clayton

May 25, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI




Edna Emily Hammer Clayton, age 92, departed this life on May 25, 2024, to be greeted by Jesus and reunited with loved ones for eternity.

Edna was born on August 17, 1931, in Jackson, Michigan, to Lavonda (Good) and Herbert Howard, who preceded her in death. Edna was united in marriage to Hugh E. Hammer on June 12, 1948, until his death on July 19, 1980. She later married Derek Clayton and was widowed a second time on May 1, 2010. Edna endured the loss of her first-born child, Karen (Hammer) Speelman.

Edna was preceded in death by siblings, Donna Rice, and her husband, Gene, Marilyn Mohr, and her husband, Dale, Herbert Howard, her beloved little brother, and brother-in-law Roland Hammer; father-in-law, Carl Hammer, and mother-in-law, Gertrude Hammer. Edna is also preceded in death by her lifelong friend, Marilyn (Rutan) Watson.

Edna is survived by her children, Christine (Jack) Peake and Judy Hammer; grandchildren, Marcy L. Peake (Lucas Trierweiler), Daniel Nemire and David Speelman; great-grandchildren, Austin Nemire and Autumn Nemire; son-in-law, Gary Speelman; sister, Phyllis Mohr; sister-in-law, Beatrice Howard; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Carroll and Carlene Perrine; and many nieces and nephews. Edna is also survived by her special friends: Lorie Heiler, JoAnn Marks, Ann Richards, Mary Ann Stratman, Cindy and Charlie Krill, and Shirley (Rick) Geer.

Edna's life was a testament to her unwavering dedication to her family. She found joy in bringing laughter to our lives and encouraging us to find humor and laugh at ourselves. Her faith in God was not just a belief but a way of life that she demonstrated through her kindness, compassion, and concern for those who felt left out. She created a space of welcome and safety for everyone, especially those who were vulnerable.

Edna spent countless hours at Milwood Little League, and later in life, she cheered on the Kalamazoo Kings, forging many friendships along the way. She also did her best not to miss a Detroit Tigers game on TV. Edna believed in quality over quantity; except for treats - taffy and peanut butter fudge were her favorites. She enjoyed making treats like hard candy and molasses cookies, and made holidays special by creating frosted sugar cookies with her children and grandchildren.

She enjoyed reading and sharing books, magazines, and newspaper clippings, constantly making notes of meaningful and funny sayings.

She was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest child started school, and she then worked part-time for Kalamazoo Public Schools. Later in life, she worked at Bronson Hospital until her retirement.

Edna, "Edner," as family affectionally called her, is greatly missed; however, we are relieved that she is free of the constraints of her body and the sadness of the world and is instead in the eternal peace and presence of Jesus and loved ones who preceded her in death.

Services will be at 3:00 PM, Thursday, June 6, 2024, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, with Pastor Jeff Wenke officiating. Friends may gather from 1:00 PM until the time of services. A burial will be held on Friday, June 7, 2024, at 10:00 AM at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park South.

During this grief, we invite you to share your condolences online. Your words of comfort and support are a source of strength for us.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left for the Wounded Warrior Project at To view Edna's personalized web page, a tribute to her remarkable life, please visit