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Skirack co-owner Spike Clayton dies at 61

Published December 18, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. (BRAIN) — Stephen "Spike" Haskew Clayton, the co-owner of Vermont's Skirack retail store, died Friday at 61 after a battle with gastric cancer.

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Clayton was a Vermont native who grew up skiing on Bromley Mountain and bike racing with the Yankee Pedlars and the the Dorset Training Group. He attended high school at Burr and Burton Academy, and went on to race with the varsity alpine ski team at the University of Vermont, where he graduated with a degree in political science and a minor in economics.

Following graduation, he pursued a professional cycling career, traveling across North America with his Stowe-Shimano team. Among countless wins, one of his most notable results was a 9th place finish in the 1984 Olympic Trials.

Among his teammates was Louis Garneau, who remembered Clayton as "a super gentleman" in a Facebook post this week. In an email to BRAIN, Specialized executive vice president Bob Margevicius remembered Clayton as "a legend, (who) will be missed by the entire cycling community."

He started working at the Skirack in 1984, later becoming co-owner of the Burlington store, which offers ski and bike gear and celebrated 50 years in business in 2019.

He married Katherine Kjelleren in 1989; their sons Thomas and Kameron followed shortly after. He loved spectating and coaching his children's sports. 

He leaves his wife Katherine Kjelleren, sons Thomas Clayton, Kameron Clayton and his wife Grace Zebertavage, brothers Robert and Thomas "Pepper" Clayton, mother-in-law Lorelei Palmer Kjelleren, aunt Fran Wurlitzer, sister-in-laws Julia Clayton and Candis Perrault, brother-in-laws Gary and Don Kjelleren, cousins Susan and Robert Ross, Kathy Bennett, Stephanie Conner, nieces Haley, Danna, M, Kew, Bel and Sarah, nephews Hayden, Ben, and Omar, and countless other loving family and friends.

A celebration of his life will be held at Sleepy Hollow Inn at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. His family welcomes you to join them for a memorial cross-country ski prior to the service at 8:30 a.m. Memorial gifts may be made to Little Bellas at littlebellas.givingfuel.com/spike-clayton.

Sleepy Hollow Inn is at 427 Ski Lodge Drive, Huntington, VT 05462.

More information on the event's Facebook page.

Spike Clayton.

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