Vermilion County has lost a great genealogist and historian. Donald H. Claypool passed this life 13 April 2017. He was 81. He was born 21 February 1936 to Richard and Myrtle Huffman Claypool in a cabin near the Alvin area of Vermilion County Illinois.
Don attended Mann's Chapel, Dale and Bethel Grade Schools, all of which are located in the Alvin area. He graduated from Rossville-Alvin High School in 1954 and worked on the farm for a while. He was drafted into the army in 1959, serving in the Korean Conflict. Discharged in 1961, he returned to the farm near Alvin before hiring on at Bohn Aluminum in 1962 retiring about 2007.
Don married Barbara Robertson Hill on 3 September 1965. She preceded him in death 4 August 2010. They raised two sons: Bill Hill (Jan) of Oakwood, and Brian Claypool (Debra) of Cary, Il. They enjoyed four grandchildren: Kyle (Laura); Makenna, Joshua and Brianna Claypool. He married Patricia Marble Smith 31 July 2011 and with this union came three "new daughters," Gayle Silkwood, Reta Feezor, and Pamela Landis, ten more grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. His sister, Barbara Pichon, of Danville survives him. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Thelma, and two brothers Jim and Tom.
Don was talented in many ways. He had many interests in his lifetime. He coached boys softball. He was a former member of the Illini Antique Auto Club, restoring antique cars even to doing the upholstery. He built his home on Seymour Street in Oakwood, where he lived for nearly 40 years. He had a workshop in his basement where he did wood working projects such as curio cabinets and other furniture. He was a helper of people, caring for the sick, clearing the snow from the sidewalks, etc. He brushed if off as doing his Christian duty.
In 1976 he became interested genealogy when his sister Thelma handed down the family tree information to him. IN his research he accumulated vast information and family stories. He was a life member of the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society. He was an excellent researcher, and retained a multitude of information. In order to share his findings, he printed off the data, in book form, so that it could be saved and shared with other researchers and posterity. He was quite proud that he had an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. He was also able to make a trip to England where he found the Claypool Manor of Northborough built in 1330, purchased by James Claypole (original spelling) Esq. in 1572.
Don was baptized at the age of 15 at the Alvin Christian Church; he was active in the Oakwood Christian Church; Vermilion Heights Church of Christ where he was instrumental in building the new church. Community Church of God; and most recently a member of the Second Church of Christ.
Services for Don Claypool will be 10:00 am Tuesday April 18 at Sunset Funeral Home's Oakwood Chapel with Drew Mentzer officiating. Visitation will be 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm Monday April 17 at the funeral home. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society, 215 W. North Street, Danville, Il 61832.
Please join Don's family in sharing videos, photos and memories on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
Published on April 14, 2017