Geoffrey Alden Clayton | May 24, 1951 – June 28, 2023
Geoffrey Alden Clayton, a resident of Woodinville, WA, died on June 28, 2023. Geoff was born on May 24, 1951 in Providence, R.I. to the late Alden Gould and Nancy Leighton (Jencks) Clayton. He graduated from New Canaan (CT) High School, Tufts University (B.S. 1973) and University of Washington (M.S. 1983).
At Tufts, Geoff discovered his life-long passion for geology, and was a member of the sailing team. As a graduate student at the University of Washington, he fell in love with the state of Washington and with Diane Louise Zenger, whom he married. He never returned to the east coast to live.
Even as a boy, Geoff loved the mountains, first as a skier and then as a “hut boy” and trailblazer in the Appalachian Mountain Club Hut System. It was no surprise that he chose for his Master’s thesis topic the ancient volcanism of the Goat Rocks Wilderness area southeast of Mount Rainier.
Geoff became a water resources scientist and a licensed hydrogeologist, spending his professional career at RH2 Engineering in Bothell. There he contributed to the design and construction of miles of pipeline and numerous reservoirs. With his colleagues, he identified a large groundwater source in the North Bend area, sometimes referred to as the “Clayton Aquifer,” which the city has subsequently developed as a primary source of its water. He was elected Woodinville Water Commissioner in 2003, and led science and policy committees responsible for recovering salmon in the region. He served as President of the Upper Bear Creek Community Council and Chairman of King County’s Active Sports and Recreation Commission.
Geoff was an accomplished outdoorsman. He cared deeply about the environment. He wanted to make the world a better place.
Sixteen years ago, Geoff suffered a debilitating stroke from which he never recovered. Frustrating for him and for his family and friends, he was able to understand what was said to him but was able to respond only with great difficulty. And he was confined to a wheelchair. Diane, then his ex-wife, moved back to the house on the pipeline that he had designed so that he could spend the rest of his days at home.
Geoff is survived by his sister, Christina Clayton, and brother-in-law, Stanley Kolber, of Denver, Colorado; his son, Brandon, of Glenoma, WA; his son, Eric and daughter-in-law, Naomi Logan, of Seattle; his ex-wife, Diane Clayton, of Woodinville; six grandchildren; many relatives on the Zenger side of the family; and countless colleagues and friends.
A gathering celebrating his life will be held on Thursday, August 10 from 1:00-3:00 PM at Bassetti’s Crooked Arbor Gardens, 18512 NE 165th Street, Woodinville, WA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tufts University Scholarship Fund for the Connie Frisch/Geoffrey A. Clayton Geology Field Scholarship at Tufts University, Gift Planning Office, 80 George Street, Medford, MA 02155.
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