Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
August 29, 2012     The Adams County Record
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August 29, 2012

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Page 10 Wednesday, August 29, 2012 The Adams cotmty Record Community Spotlight How do two peopl from different parts of the country have such similar interests and values? And how did they end up together in Council, Idaho? The answers are a blessing Matt and Cheryl Clayton happily share. Matt grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, destined to work in the iron foundry. His father, a hardworking and devout Catholic, sold office and copy equipment. His mom grew up in a Catholic orphanage. Matt was the middle of five children. "My parents were middle children also" he laughed. "We're all middle-child dysfunctional 7 His mind drifted during high school academics, but he thrived in art classes, vocational training and architectural drafting. He graduated in 1975, his character strongly influenced by the inspirational times of the country. He'S still much attuned to politics; his wife Cheryl calls him a "news junkie:' With his first real gas station job, Matt bought his first car, a '69 Dodge van his dad dubbed "the love wagon:' One horrible night, robbers shot Matt and left him for dead. The bullet stopped 3A inches from his spine. "It was a miracle I wasn't paralyzed;' he affirmed. A motorcycle wreck at age 22 caused severe back injury. He waited in intense pa!n for a week for the surgery that would fuse 5 vertebrae. Again he realized the miracle of his survival. "God has other things planned for me" he decided. Knowing he'd wear a body cast for a year, he prayed for direction. ]he answer came in a tiny ad in an automobile magazine for custom airbrush classes in California. He'd already begun air brushing designs on vans and motorcycles. He left for California, and over the years his art morphed into Los Angeles high level home construction and a contractor's license. After 17 years, his heart yearned for a quieter, simpler existence. With friends in Idaho, he decided Council could use one more contractor. Matt moved to Council in 1995, and didn't date for a while. But one look at Cheryl and he realized, "That's a classy lady:' He asked her out, she turned him down, but he left the offer open. Six months later, out of the blue, she took him up on that date. Cheryl was also fairly new to Council. She was born in Boise, but with her father's occupation as a comptroller (account auditor), the family moved frequently. Suddenly at 16 her life was shattered. One evening she found her father dead from a heart attack. Three years later she lost her morn from a long bout of cancer. Cheryl dropped out of college while her morn was sick. She got married, went to work and raised three children. Interest in her youngest child's speech lessons took her back to college, and she pursued a Masters Degree at Utah State in Speech and Language Therapy. "My oldest son had to help me through the math class;' she laughed. After working in the Idaho Falls schools, her kids were grown and she was divorced. Seeking a more rural area, she moved in 1994 to give speech therapy in Council, Cambridge and Midvale. "I loved it," she said. Then she-found Matt, and loved it even more. They thrive on the outdoors, art and architecture. 'They share Happy 1st Birthday Coral Cora was born September 3, 2011 in Santa Rosa, CA. She is the daughter of Carrie Joslintutzman and Chad Stutzman. Maternal Grandparents are Jim & Pare Joslin of Fruitvale, ID. Paternal grandparents are Van & Sue Stutzman Rupert, ID. ]00,att ar00:t Cheryl Clayton They Found Each Other in Council a Christian background Church, and works with which is central in their youth groups there. lives. They married on They'd like to take Mackinac Island Michigan an architectural tour of at his parents' 50th Europe, especially the wedding anniversary 13 cathedrals. Matt keeps a years ago. They celebrated their wedding vows again in Council, in a spoof wedding with Tim Hohs presiding. Cheryl became very i/ the next day, and was fbwn to the hospital. Matt spent two weeks sleeping on a cot next to his new bride in intensive care. Their Council friends inundated the hospital with get-well flowers. Cheryl has just retired, and sle grew misty-eyed at not starting back to school this year. She's watched students grow up who started speech therapy in pre-school, and she's very attached to them, their families and school staff. Her days stay flail. Like Matt, Cheryl's gifted in art, particularly working with stained glass, as the attractive side windows of her patio door demonstrate. Much to Matt's delight, she's reinvested in cooking healthy, delicious meals. She's enjoying gardening, yard work and a new bicycle; and working with Brenda Howard to overcome a fear of horses. Like Matt, she's dedicated to the Assembly of God photo catalog of churches and cathedrals on the internet; he would like to publish a book about the churches and their histories in Michigan. They love her children and their 5 grandchildren. Cheryl never takes her family for granted. She realizes how absolutely supportive her parents were, and gives that support to her offspring. They celebrate their family reunion every year. Cheryl talked about Matt's ability to maintain a business through the difficult times in Council. "He is so creative and so artistic, but at the same time he is meticulous and as honest as they come," she spoke proudly. "He's wise about bidding and pricing and respects his customers 7 Matt attributes his character to his parents. "My dad was a hard working salesman who always cared for the customer. My parents taught me to do it right the first time, and that your word is your name;' Matt - 9-5 By Deb Wilson explained. They also taught him about helping others. Matt volunteered with the Council fire department 15 years, and has helped with the Council Music Festival and other town efforts including the school shop building. Mostly though, he just likes helping on a person by person basis. "My God work," he calls it. "That's my thing. I like to spread my smile and hope it becomes contagious." They inspire each other, every day. Matt wishes he could spread that kind of inspiration further in the world. "We have to pull together as a country;' he explained. "We need more answers and less-finger- pointing. We have to stop the bickering if we want to compete with all of the developing countries. It hurts me to see the country so divided:' "If you don't like the world the way it is, get engaged and do something to help;' he continued. Say something positive to someone. Anyone can'take 10 minutes of their time to care:'