Clayton Earl McGruder |

Clayton Earl McGruder

Clayton Earl McGruder, 59, passed away Dec. 19, 2006, in Rifle, after a brief illness, surrounded by his family and close friends who loved him. Clayton was born Nov. 8, 1947, in the Rifle area, to Earl Wilbur and Dorothy Ethel (Hollenbeck) McGruder. He attended the Mamm Creek and Rifle area schools. Entering the U.S. Army in July 1967, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, before being sent to Schweinfurt, Germany. While serving in Germany as the squad leader in Company A of the 2nd Battalion Division of the 30th Infantry, he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal.A veteran of the Vietnam War, Clayton was a decorated hero. He was awarded the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and the Army Commendation Medal for service to his country.Prior to his illness, Clayton worked for Kay and Dick Morgan on their ranch near Rifle. He wholeheartedly loved ranch life and everything associated with it. He could build or repair anything mechanical and oftentimes do it with impromptu parts. A true outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing and was devoted to his animals.Clayton is survived by stepson Roger Murray of Nevada; son Eugene McGruder of Gothenburg, Neb.; sister Donna (Dick) Casey and brother Robb (BeaAnn) McGruder, all of Rifle; and several grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.He was preceded in death by his parents; twin sister Carolyn; older sister Karen; and daughter Tammy.A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Casey home, 1251 W. Third St. in Rifle.

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