Longtime Lafayette resident Donald E. Claxton, 76, a devoted husband, father and grandfather, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, at his home with his wife and family at his side.
A Celebration of Life will be 11 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014, at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home in Lafayette, La.
Visitation will be observed from 2 to 9 p.m. today, resuming at 9 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014, and continuing until the time of the service at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home in Lafayette.
A rosary will be recited at 7 this evening by Winnie Duhe in Fountain Memorial Funeral Home Chapel.
Interment will follow in Fountain Memorial Cemetery in Lafayette.
The Very Reverend John Bedingfield, Rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Lafayette, will officiate.
On May 14, 1938, in the oilfield boomtown of Paradise, Okla., Don was born to E.O. and Vera Claxton. A mischievous young boy, his rough-and-tumble nature was well known. He graduated from Lone Grove High School. While he wanted to study agriculture, his Dad encouraged him to become a petroleum engineer.
He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1962 and moved to Lafayette to begin work for the California Company. His good friends introduced him to Betty Monteleone, with whom he recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.
When Don joined Drilling Well Control, a working friendship developed with Al Bellaire and Skip Kimball, which later turned into a business partnership, Petroleum Engineers, Inc. (PEI). Don, Al and Skip made PEI one of the most trusted, reliable petroleum engineering firms in the industry. Betty was always at Don’s side to meet new clients. They were well-known for having a great time and for being people others could count on.
While expanding PEI’s reputation in Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and then into international markets through partnerships with drilling companies, Don always placed his family first and helped those in need. He volunteered his time and efforts to help children, most notably the Boy Scouts of America, who awarded him the Order of the Silver Beaver.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Betty; two daughters, Elizabeth Claxton Erickson and husband Noah of West Monroe, La., and Wendy Claxton Begneaud and husband Marc of Lafayette, La.; his son, Donald John Claxton and wife Shauna of Maurice, La.; four grandchildren, Beau, Nicholas and Luc Begneaud and Evelyn Claxton; and his brother, Gary Claxton and wife Patti of Wilson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, E.O. and Vera Claxton; his eldest son, Donald E. Claxton Jr.; and his sister, Leta Claxton Croskell.
Pallbearers will be Gary Claxton, Donald Claxton, Noah Erickson, Marc Begneaud, David Burns, John Judice, Al Bellaire and Benny Landry.
Honorary pallbearers will be Skip Kimball, Phil Ahneman and Jimmy King Sr.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ken McCarron and Hospice of Acadiana, especially Iggy Landry, for their compassionate care of Don and tremendous support to the family. They would also like to express gratitude to his devoted caregivers, Audrey Lewis, Liz Lindon and Martha Espree.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Don’s name to Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston St., #200, Lafayette, LA 70503, (337) 232-1234, www.hospiceacadiana.com/donations, or to the Boy Scouts of America, Evangeline Area Council, 2266 S. College Rd., Suite E, Lafayette, LA 70508.
Online obituary and guest book may be viewed at www.fountainmemorialfuneralhome.com.
Fountain Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery of Lafayette, 1010 Pandora St., (337) 981-7098 is in charge of arrangements.