Martha Margaret (Dabruzzi) Clayton, also known as Mom, Aunt Martha, Grandma, and G.G., was born on November 11th, 1929, in Saint Paul, MN. She had 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Her mother passed away at a young age and she and her siblings were raise by each other and their Father when he wasn't working his 3 jobs. She was extremely intelligent, although she was very humble. She was the first in her family to graduate high school. After high school she she was full of adventure and moved to Washington DC with 3 of her friends. There she worked for the Department of the Navy and then met her military husband, Clay. She was content with the simple things in life while also having an appreciation for a little flare. Going to Marine Corp Ball was something she enjoyed and she was an excellent seamstress and made many of her dresses. During this time as a military wife she would often speak of the many places she lived like California, North Carolina, Okinawa, Maryland, and the Philippines (this is where she learned to make her world famous lumpia). Martha has four children, Steve, Karen, Corinne, and Joe. When any of the kids were fighting she would make then sit in the living room and hold hands. In no time the arguing turned into giggling and the conflict was over. After the military and returning to Minnesota she worked at St. John’s hospital for twenty years and her family continued to grow. She has twelve great grandchildren; Melinda, Dana, Jason, Jayme, Kristina, Stacy, Kristi, Matthew, Jeremy, Mykal, Thomas, and Benjamin and thirteen grandchildren; Alexis, Garrett, Kyle, Julia, Michael, Sarah, Graycie, Gavin, Dominic, Alice, Giovanni, T.J., Soraya and Jasmine. In addition to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, Martha was a loving Aunt to her nieces and nephews. She loved every single one of her family and never did she forget a birthday, she was known to have had the most amazing memory!
Martha was very proud of her Italian heritage and was always thrilled to share her stories. She certainly fit the stereotypical Italian, strong willed, bold, sassy, and at times a bit stubborn. But she would have been bold and sassy anyway. She loved deeply and was very dedicated to her family as well as a dedicated friend. Fear was never a factor for her as she always spoke her mind and would tell you like it is with no reserve to whether you wanted to hear it or not. Being a very perceptive person, she was usually right. She had a quick wit and she was always ready with a clever response. She loved to be with family and friends and to laugh and make others laugh.
Martha was an Italian woman with a lot of passion to fuel her many hobbies including playing card games (500, pinochle, and bridge were her favorites), playing the lottery, going to the casino, taking trips to Las Vegas and bowling, which she very good at. Being left-handed, she would swing the bowling ball and give the old Italian shake of the fist with her right hand as she yelled at those pins. Another hobby she enjoyed was knitting. She made many blankets for her grandchildren and great- grandchildren, nieces and nephews. But most of all… She LOVED her family and her best expression of her love for them was by cooking for them. Her ravioli and sauce had to be made from scratch and cooked to perfection, which would take hours. She put her heart and soul into cooking for her family and on occasion a special friend or two would be fortunate enough to get a taste. Ravioli with noodles made from scratch and Lasagna, Lumpia and potato salad are some of her most well-known dishes. She never used recipes but did pass on a list of ingredients and tips and techniques toher family. The large family gatherings of cooking, eating, laughing, and playing games were so full of love and warmth that they became well-known to anyone that even knew the family. Anyone who ever met her was met with open arms for a welcoming hug, Italian food, and a little Italian sass. Martha was a very generous and giving person and she knew how to make everyone she connected with feel loved. She was the most sincerely unselfish person. This is her legacy: Love all and Love unconditionally. This made her one of the best mothers, aunts, grandmothers, great grandmothers and friend anyone has ever known. You will be greatly missed.
Born on November 11, 1929 and passed away on September 11, 2020. Preceded in death by husband Clay; great granddaughter Jasmine and 6 siblings. Survived by children Steven (Sandra), Karen Clayton-Ebert, Corinne Landis and Joe (Barb); 12 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren and her family at Applewood Point. A celebration of Martha’s life is planned for Saturday, September 19th from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at MUELLER MEMORIAL, 835 Johnson Parkway, St. Paul.