Sharon Lou Clayton Martin

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 July 13, 1939-May 24, 2024

Sharon Lou (Clayton) Martin died peacefully, surrounded by family, at her home in Ballwin, Mont., on Friday, May 24, 2024. She was 84 years old. Sharon is survived by her daughter Kelly A. (Martin) Whitaker and husband Doug, of Ballwin; her son John T. Martin and wife Dora, of Troy, Mont; and her son Bret W. Martin and wife Malissa, of Silex, Mont. 

Grandchildren include Lauren Whitaker Donahue and her husband Mark, of Cypress, Tex.; Kris Whitaker of Ballwin; Bret A. Martin of Silex, MO; John P. Martin of Troy; and Caitlin Martin of Troy. Great-grandchildren are Hazel Donahue and Oliver Donahue, of Cypress. 

She is survived by her brother Gary Clayton and his wife Melanie, of Olathe, Kans., and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends. She is also survived by her former husband and father of her children, John C. Martin, of Lee’s Summit, Mont., and was preceded in death by her parents, Duwain Clayton and Rita (Weighner) Clayton.

Sharon was born in Prairie du Chien on July 13, 1939, and lived there in the historic upper Missouri River town until her family moved to the Kansas City area in the mid 1950s. After graduating from high school, she was married in 1958, and lived in Overland Park, Kans., where she worked for several employers while raising her young family. In the early 1970s, the family moved to Chesterfield, Mont., where she was an integral part of the family-owned moving company she and her husband operated. 

Later, she worked as an invaluable administrative assistant and bookkeeper for various small businesses in the automotive services industry, work which she enjoyed throughout the remainder of her career. After retiring, she volunteered with St. Louis County’s County Older Resident Programs (CORP), and was honored with the ‘Extra Mile’ volunteering award in 2014. 

She also volunteered her time as an election judge, and was active politically advocating for senior citizens’ initiatives.

Sharon lived in various West St. Louis County communities, including Ellisville, Kirkwood, and Ballwin, and enjoyed an active, independent lifestyle. She loved traveling throughout the US and in Europe, and exploring locally in search of fun activities and restaurants with her close friend group. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, learning about new cultures, loved art and music, and enjoyed a good laugh. 

She cared deeply about saving endangered animal species and keeping the environment safe for future generations. Sharon was a kind, caring person who always looked for the positive in people. A large sign that was always displayed on her fireplace mantel reads “Imagine Peace.” She will be deeply missed.

True to her unassuming self, Sharon requested that there be no formal service or memorial for her. The immediate family will gather at some later date in her hometown of Prairie du Chien, WI, for a private internment ceremony. In lieu of flowers, she asked that donations be made to the American Kidney Fund, at

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