Words of Remembrance for Brother Carl Clayton, FSC

Written and delivered by William Terry Clayton, (Nephew)
Mass of Christian Burial
La Salle Hall
Ammendale, MD
Saturday, February 8, 2020

George “Brother Carl” Clayton was born in 1938 in Baltimore, the youngest surviving member of a family of four boys widely separated by age. His oldest brother died in infancy, next in age was my dad, Bill, who was seventeen years his senior, followed by Don, five years his senior.

It was as a student at Calvert Hall College High School that George first came into contact with the Christian Brothers. Later, after only a brief time as a student at La Salle College, he decided to enter the order and received the name Brother Carl. For the rest of his life he dedicated himself to serving students in various roles as teacher, administrator, guidance counselor, and campus minister. This he did all around the world. Because of his many assignments, he would sometimes joke about working for the CIA, but that’s a story for another day! Notably, he was the vice-principal both at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh and La Salle College High School in Philadelphia. Later he served as principal at St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C.

To our family, George was a beloved uncle, godfather, and brother-in-law. His visits were much anticipated and usually coincided with a big family gathering. George’s quick wit and fun-loving nature were manifest in his corny jokes and love of puns that frequently led to a contest among family members to see who could inflict even more punishment. He would also ham it up for a photo by tying a balloon to his head or use some other prop to add a touch of humor to the shot. A big baseball fan, he remained loyal to the Baltimore Orioles despite the team’s recent lack of success. George was a confirmed “foodie.” He enjoyed all kinds of food, especially dessert. Over the past few years, pizza became a favorite meal, especially from Luigi’s famous brick oven down the road from De La Salle Hall. And, he did enjoy an occasional glass of scotch!

My favorite story about my uncle involved an interaction among him and his two brothers. One day my uncle Don was hosting a family crab feast at his home. In preparation for the event, he and my father were attempting to install a “bug light”, the kind that attracts and zaps mosquitos. Uncle George was a bystander to the effort. At some point, they discovered they had left the light fixture in the garage. Don asked George to go get the bug light. In a few minutes, he dutifully returned carrying three cans of beer. Yes! It was BUD LIGHT! Whether it was a misunderstanding of the request or George taking an opportunity to play a practical joke on his brothers was never revealed.

As you may know, George suffered with Parkinson’s Disease for the past ten years. Despite the gradual loss of his ability to walk and communicate, he never complained, bemoaned his fate, or failed to take the opportunity to make a joke, or smile at someone, almost to the very end. His strong faith and indomitable spirit were an inspiration to all. Not surprisingly, George was a favorite of the De La Salle Hall nursing staff. During our visits there, everyone always spoke fondly of “Brother Carl.”

Our family expresses our appreciation and gratitude to George’s other family, the Community of Christian Brothers for their love, encouragement, and support, throughout his life’s journey with them. A special thanks to Brother Bud and the entire staff at De La Salle Hall for their exceptional care and compassion during George’s time there.

We will all greatly miss him, his humor and fun-loving nature, but we are comforted that he Is at peace and reunited with his parents, brothers, and family members who have gone before him. However, we are a little concerned that with all of the brothers together again, St. Peter may be having a slightly more difficult time keeping things under control.

Thank you all for attending today’s service. May God bless you.

Words of Remembrance for Brother Carl Clayton, FSC

Written and delivered by Brother David Rogers, FSC
Mass of Christian Burial
La Salle Hall
Ammendale, MD
Saturday, February 8, 2020

George, Mel, Carl, multiple names for a person with a multiplicity of talent and skills! I first met him as George in the fall of 1957 here at Ammendale as novices. I can remember a work assignment with Carl at St. Joseph’s pond . . . we spent a little time working on the pond and a lot of time sitting on the bridge next to it analyzing and solving world problems and getting to know each other better.

After college, we next came together in 1963 at La Salle College High School where Carl became vice principal at the age of twenty-four or so. Both of us lived and worked there for the next fourteen years. In 1977 he began a whirlwind of assignments which took him through one half dozen states and several foreign countries. We stayed in contact during summers.

Some of these assignments, Carl sought out and some he did not. (Being the Director at Jeremy House and having to leave Bethlehem to become Sub-Director at Napa among them.) He enjoyed California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, California. But he, nevertheless, accepted all assignments with a willing spirit and did his best wherever he was. He often told me that he most enjoyed the classroom and the students.

Through these varied experiences, Carl honed his skills as teacher, administrator, counselor, aspirancy coordinator, campus minister, confessor, advisor, and FRIEND. He had an enviable ability to relate to both young and old. Because Carl liked people, he was blessed to have a great many continuing friendships over the years. I count myself fortunate to be among them.

Many times I sought his counsel, and Carl was always sympathetic. He listened well and gave honest advice, even when it was not what I wanted to hear. I’m sure he was the same way with everyone.

What most of us remember about Carl is his good humor and his affinity for puns. It was a rare conversation that did not include a couple of plays on words. Typically he remarked to us once that there were a lot of slow students at Cal Poly. I bit and asked how come. He replied that most were SLO (nickname for the inhabitants of San Luis Obispo).

Loyalty to his friends was clearly important to Carl. He always stood up for what he thought was the right thing to do. He never discussed anyone’s shortcomings with others. I am grateful for that.

Sadly, the last few years of Carl’s life were spent dealing with Parkinson’s disease. An especially cruel disease for someone with Carl’s many talents. The poet Randall Jarrel has written that “Pain is hard even for the strong, but incapacity, worse.” I think that being incapacitated affected Carl most. For him, a man so used to using words so well, must have felt imprisioned when he became unable to express his thoughts and feelings in any real way, to be inarticulate.

When I heard of Carl’s passing, I was happy for him. I thought of the film, The Gladiator. After Maximus’ death, his fellow gladiator said, “Now you are free.” I thought now Carl is free from his own personal imprisonment. There is a passage in Shakespeare that goes something like this: It seems to me most strange that men should fear death, since death, a necessary evil, will come. If it be not now, then it is not to come. If it be now, then it will come. Readiness is all.

Carl was ready in every way. I am sure he is receiving his eternal reward for a life dedicated to serving the many people with whom he came in contact. (Carl, put in a good word for all of us up there.) May Carl and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.

Live, Jesus, in our hearts. Forever!

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Brother Carl Clayton, FSC

Born George Melvin Clayton in Baltimore MD on 26 April 1938

Entered the Ammendale MD Novitiate on 16 November 1956

Received the Religious Habit and the Name Brother Damian Carl on 1 February 1957

Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Calvert Hall College HS on 17 August 1963

Died at De La Salle Hall on 30 January 2020



Thursday, 6 February 2020

Visitation – 2.30pm to 5.00pm
Prayer of Remembrance – 4.45pm

De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft NJ 07738

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Visitation – 9.30am to 10.30am
Mass of Christian Burial – 10.30am

La Salle Hall
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville MD 20705


Burial following

La Salle Hall
Saint Joseph’s Cemetery
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville MD 20705

Luncheon & Hospitality to follow


The District of Eastern North America remembers Brother Carl with memorial liturgies according to the tradition of the Institute. Through their prayers, communities and individuals entrust Brother Carl to God’s loving care.

Brother Carl died peacefully on Thursday evening after short respite in hospice care. May he rest in peace.



Elkins Park PA

Pittsburgh PA
Central Catholic High School

Wyndmoor PA
La Salle College High School

Washington DC
Saint John’s College High School

Wyndmoor PA
La Salle College High School

Seattle WA
Seattle University (graduate studies)

Philadelphia PA
La Salle College

Philadelphia PA
District Administration (Aspirancy Coordinator)

Pittsburgh PA
District Administration (Aspirancy Coordinator)

Philadelphia PA
Jeremy House (Director)

Leave of Absence

Wyndmoor PA
La Salle College High School

Washington DC
Saint John’s College High School

San Luis Obispo CA
Newman Center (Campus Minister)

Rome and Paris

Winona MN
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Philadelphia PA
District Administration (Formation Director)

Bethlehem Palestine
Bethlehem University

Napa CA
RELAN Novitiate (staff)

Jersey City NJ
Hudson Catholic High School

Baltimore MD
Calvert Hall College High School

Baltimore MD
Towson Interfaith Assistance Center (volunteer)

Wyndmoor PA
La Salle College High School

Lipa Philippines
De La Salle University

Wyndmoor PA
La Salle College High School (volunteer)

Beltsville MD
La Salle Hall (retired)

Lincroft NJ
De La Salle Hall (retired)