NORTH MONMOUTH -- Clayton A. Alward went to rest in God's arms on March 29, 2012, surrounded by family and friends. He was born in Hodgdon on Sept., 26, 1926, the son of Lloyd and Beatrice (Howard) Alward.
Clayton met Betty Louise Porter at the Houlton Fair, and they loved to tell the story of how she purposely missed the train back to Patten so she could spend more time with him. They were married in Canada on Dec. 9, 1946.
In his youth, Clayton worked in the potato fields and woods of Aroostook County, and was briefly a boxer in Portland. He was employed by the Maine Department of Transportation prior to graduating from Faith School of Theology in 1962.
Clayton and his family pastored at churches in Boothbay Harbor and Stacyville before settling at the Full Gospel Church in North Monmouth in 1963, where they spent the rest of their years. Clayton was asked to offer prayer at the Maine Legislature on occasion, and politics was a passion of his. Clayton founded the North American Ministerial Association, and for a period of time operated a summer camp for youth in East Winthrop.
He volunteered much time working with the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Lewiston, transporting donations to the Faith School of Theology and others in need. His van was always full of food, and it was hard to leave a visit with him without a box of apples, bag of potatoes or box of canned goods; every Sunday he enjoyed cooking lunch for everyone following church service. His closest friends will forever remember the late night trips to Denny's in Lewiston. He loved to be surrounded by people, and usually was. Clayton's deep faith in and love of God, generosity and sense of humor are his legacy. He had a positive impact on many lives, and his family is especially proud of the way he lived by example and loved unconditionally.
He is survived by a son, Thomas Alwardm and his wife, Sherriem of Readfield; three daughters, Kathryn Brown and Christina Pagliaroli, both of Monmouth, and Martha Alward and her significant other, Larry Albee, of Windsor; two sons-in law, Larry Brown of Lyman and Bruce Pagliaroli of Augusta; grandchildren Jeremy Brown of Alabama, Jennifer Taylor of Monmouth, Merrianne Alward of Fairfield, Brian Stevens of Hartland, Jessica Pagliaroli of Waterville, and Beth Morgan of Augusta; 11 great-grandchildren, Ben, Gabe, Jake, Courtney, Katie, Chelsea, Clara, Abbie and Eva, Isabella and Brianna; one great-great-granddaughter, Jadync; two sisters, Geraldine Gogan and husband Bob, and Ruth Williams and husband Cecil, all of Houlton; and many nieces, nephews and special friends. Clayton was predeceased by his parents; two sons, Daniel Earl and Clayton Jr.; two brothers, Earl and Lewis Alward; and a sister, Elouise Cushman.
The family wishes to thank those at Russell Park Manor, St. Mary's d'Youville Pavilion and Central Maine Medical Center who provided such loving care over the past few years and days. Special thanks to the Rev. Douglas Taylor of Lewiston for spending many overnights in the hospital with Dad, and for being with him in his last days; also special thanks to the Rev. Joel McLain for the comfort and caring to all of us. They have been a special blessing to us all.
Local visiting hours will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 1, at Bragdon-Finley Funeral Home, 707 Main St., P.O. Box 188, Monmouth. Time will be provided between 4 and 6 p.m. for those wishing to speak about their memories of Clayton. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at Houlton Full Gospel Assembly, Outer Court Street, Houlton. Visiting hours will be noon prior to the service at the church. Interment in the spring at Hodgdon Cemetery, Houlton. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at: www.finleyfuneralhome.com.