In Memory

Clayton Wilhite

Clayton Wilhite

Clayton (Clayt) Edward Wilhite, passed away Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Ann Arbor, MI, age 75 years.  Clayton was born on August 9, 1945 to parents Clayton and Ruth Wilhite.  Clayt had a passionate interest in both academics and athletics.  He was a consensus two-year All-State football star at Bay City Handy High School.  He was named an All-American quarterback in 1962 with the additional accolade of being inducted into the National Honor Society.  In 1963, Clayt committed to the University of Michigan.  Clayt received the Maulbetsch, Robinson, Yost and Phi Beta Kappa awards for academic and athletic achievements.
In 1969, Clayt met Ann Douglass, a fellow Wolverine.  They married on June 27, 1970 in Woodbridge, Connecticut.  Following their marriage, they began their odyssey in the world of advertising, assuming assignments throughout the years in Chicago and Sydney, Australia, London, St. Louis and returning to Ann Arbor in 1997.  Clayt served as managing partner and was on the board of directors for CFI World Wide, an international consulting firm, until his retirement in 2008.  He held board positions from many companies.
Clayt had a great interest in politics, and in 1976, took a leave of absence from advertising.  He and Ann headed to Washington DC to assist a former Wolverine, President Gerald Ford, as an executive with in-house agencies on the reelection campaign.  In 1992, he returned in the same position to assist in President George H. W. Bush's campaign.  Clayt used his many managerial skills while serving on the board of the University Musical Society and was instrumental in establishing the UMS National Council Committee.
Clayt was preceded in death by his loving wife, Ann; and brother-in-law Michael Post and sister-in-law Janet Douglass.  He is survived by his brother, Jim Wilhite of Shelburne, VT; sister Mary Post of Auburn, MI; brother-in-law Tom Douglass (Betsy) of St. Louis, MO; sister-in-law Elizabeth Bobro (Greg) of South Carolina; 11 nieces and nephews; and 13 great nieces and nephews. 

A memorial reception for Clayt and Ann will be held from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon on Saturday, May 8, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 420 West Liberty in Ann Arbor, followed by a Christian service led by Pastor Donald Neuendorf.  Clayt, Ann and Janet Douglass will be interred at a private graveside service at Washtenong Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a contribution to the Michigan Athletics for Academic Success Program at U. of M.,1000 State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (attn: Melissa Montague); the University Musical Society, 881 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 420 West Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; or to a charity of your choice in Clayt or Ann's name.   

Source:  Muehlig Funeral Chapel, 403 South Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104, (734) 663-3375.


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04/11/21 09:56 AM #1    

Robert Willeke

I moved to Bay City in my senior year. I knew no one. One of the first friendships I made was Clayt. We played football and basketball together and often double dated. He was a great friend to me but to all of his class mates. He was also an inspiration for me. I admired him greatly for his accomplishments  in life. I'm so thankful for Clayton Wilhites influence in my life. The last time I saw Clayt was at his home in Ann Arbor. Next to his chair was his bible. Today I'm thinking of that song by Vince Gill "Go Rest On High" Clayt! Thank you God for his life!!

04/12/21 03:26 PM #2    

Richard Beck

I met Clayt when Kolb converted to an Intermediate school. We blended a bunch of kids from the West Side. 
Clayt landed in the same class as I. 1955. 5 th grade. 
We seemed to be in the same enrollment pool all the way until we moved to Handy. 
Clayt was a good hard working standout student then and never took his foot off the gas. During 8 th grade baseball, he played right field when he wasn't pitching. I was his back up. I played in one game in the final inning when we were way ahead. 
At Handy, he was an athlete, while I was in band. I guess we shared every game on the same fields. 
I did catch a pass from Clayt. A pickup game on a Saturday. He asked me why I didn't play football. I asked him why he didn't play sax. Conversation over. 
I feel like an old fond piece of me has ended. 
Fair winds, Clayton. Calm seas. 

04/13/21 11:39 AM #3    

Beverly Silvernale (Snable)

Clayton and I met at Kolb School. We became friends immediately. He was the President of our eighth grade class and I was Vice President. We remained friends throughout the years. Clayton was a role model to so many! He will be greatly missed­čą░


04/13/21 09:17 PM #4    

Penny Wagar (Fahlsing)

So sorry to hear about Clayt's passing.  Clayt was always such a nice person and a real gentlemen.  While at Handy, we were in the same advisory and got to be pretty good friends.  We had a wonderful visit at our last class reunion and I was looking forward to seeing him this summer.  Therein lies a lesson for us all.  Time is fleeting.  Reach out to the people that you care about.  Rest in peace my friend.  You will be missed.

04/17/21 07:22 AM #5    

Kenneth Wingeier

Saddened to hear of Clayt's passing. We shared many athletic memories (starting with Little League baseball) and classroom memories at Handy. Clayt was a great teammate and classmate.

May God comfort his family and friends.

04/17/21 12:36 PM #6    

JoAnne Bennett (Smith)


It saddens me to think about Clayt and his lovely wife Ann missing out on growing old together.  But now they are reunited in the everlasting life.  They sacrificed a lot to achieve their career accomplishments and I pale in comparison.  Clayt always challenged himself to be the best he could be and was truly our class hero.

I feel blessed that I can say we were friends in high school.  I was never a member of any click nor was I popular.  But Clayt always treated me as someone special.  For that reason I will cherish his memory.

Clayt made a difference in the lives of so many that he mentored in his career years.  Because of that his memory will live on in the hearts of many.  RIP number 88.  You will be missed.

04/28/21 04:53 PM #7    

Kay Morrison (Kimball)

 Carol (Wing) Goff, Marty Jankowski and I toasted Clayt last night with a glass of wine.  (Maybe a cigar for Marty.) :

Here's to Clayt!  A good man . . . . . successful, affluent and well connected throughout his adult life. Yet he truly valued old high school friendships enough to return for reunions when it was quite difficult for him to do so - and wnen it was sure to expose all the vulnerabilities and losses he had suffered at the hands of the one he called "Mr Parkinson".  Here's to Clayt!  Here's to his love of old friends and to his courage!  RIP, dear friend.

We would like to suggest a couple of other options for donations in Clayt's memory,  (These have been approved by the family.):

1) Good Samaritan Rescue  Mission, Bay City - PO 613 - Bay City, MI - 48708  

2) Bay Area Women's Center - PO Box 1458 - Bay City, MI - 48706


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