Clayton Prusia died March 17, 2011, at his beloved family farm.
He was born on February 25, 1917, to Earl and Dora Viola (Byers) Prusia, in Tekamah, Nebraska
near the Missouri River. At the age of 4, he moved with his parents to Grant, Nebraska in the western
part of the state. His parents began wheat, corn farming and livestock. Clayton learned at an early
age to love the land, machinery and all aspects of being a farmer. He attended a one-room school
house in the county through the eighth grade. He then attended a Christian boarding academy for
his first two years of secondary before returning to public high school where he graduated in 1934.
Clayton chose to come West in September of 1935 to Walla Walla College to
enter the pre-medicine program. Due to the Dust Bowl days on the Great Plains,
his parents and siblings followed in January of 1936 and set up a diary farm.
In August of 1938, he married Darlene Gerking of College Place. The union
resulted in two children: Charles Prusia and Joanne Prusia Mohr. Throughout
this time, he continued his education at a slower pace, and graduated with his
degree in 1942.
Despite his enjoyment of medical studies, Clayton couldn't shake his desire to
farm. His love of the land, passion for seeing plants grow, interest in machinery
and joy in being outside led the family to start their own farm in the Spring of
1941. Except for his first three years in college, Clayton spent his entire life living
and working on a farm.
Clayton and his wife, Darlene, were actively involved in their local Seventh-day
Adventist Church, serving in many different capacities for over seventy years.
Clayton was an elder, committee member, and participated in numerous building
projects and mission trips. The Prusia duo also headed up the church Youth
Department for many years, going on countless trips, teaching hundreds of
young people to ski as well as providing a positive influence for the church youth.
It was this experience that lead to his passion in providing Christian education
for young people. He served for quite a few years as Chairman of the Board for
the Committee of 100 at Walla Walla College, an alumni fundraising group, and
as Chairman of the Board for Blue Mountain Credit Union.
Clayton greatly enjoyed going spreading his faith and helping others in true
Samaritan spirit. He and his wife went on mission trips to Guatamala, China,
Mexico, Canada, as well as others here in United States.
Clayton's love of traveling and photography is readily apparent in the scores
of photo albums, slide carousels and postcards acquired from a life that had
been lived to the fullest. Clayton was an extremely hard worker, and he played
just as hard as he worked. The Prusia family spent their summers at their cabin
on Priest Lake, camping in the mountains and on road trips across the United
States. Each decade brought new destinations, grander adventures and even
greater stories to be shared.
Clayton is survived by his wife Darlene Gerking Prusia; a son Charles Clayton
and wife Jean; daughter Joanne Prusia Mohr and husband Roger; five grandchildren,
and seven great-grandchildren as well as his brother Merle Prusia and
sister Elaine Prusia Smith.
Clayton's deep faith in God and love for all touched the lives of all who knew
him. His memorial contributions may be made to Gospel Outreach and their efforts
to drill wells for clean drinking water to villages in need through Mountain
View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
The memorial service will be 5:00 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2011, at the
Village Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12^th and Larch Streets
in College Place. There will be a private graveside service
and inurnment at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at www.mountainview-colonialdewitt.com