Clayton Farnham Obituary

Clayton Drais Farnham
Clayton Drais Farnham

March 25, 1935 - March 18, 2020
Born in Oregon City, Oregon
Resided in Anchorage, Alaska


Clayton Drais Farnham, passed away peacefully at home with family in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2020, just a week shy of his 85th birthday. Clay was born in Oregon City, Oregon on March 25, 1935 to Roscoe & Louise Farnham. Clay, along with his wife Sharon and their young family came to Alaska via the Air Force in 1964, nine days before the earthquake. He retired as a recruiter in 1974 after 22 years of service.

While the Air Force brought Clay and the family north, the true draw for him was the Alaskan lifestyle. He was a go-cart racer, goalie for the Elmendorf Rockets hockey team, hunter, trapper, fisherman, bush pilot, dog sled musher, and so much more. He was a man of hard work, few words, and quick wit who will be missed by all.

Upon retirement in 1974, Clay moved his family to a homestead property on Mankomen Lake, Alaska. They lived at this remote homestead for 15 years, enjoying a subsistence lifestyle and homeschooling their children.

After Mankomen Lake, Clay and Sharon moved to Chistochina, Alaska where they raised and raced their dog team, while nurturing an abundant garden. Clay became competitive in Alaska’s sprint mushing circuit during the late 80’s and 90’s. In 2003 Clay and Sharon began wintering and then living full time in Elephant Butte, NM where they became part of a strong community of close friends who supported the family throughout the years. Clay enjoyed his last 18 months living back in Alaska with his son and family.

Clay is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Sharon Farnham. He is survived by his three children and their families. Daughter Karen Siler and husband Luke, along with their children and families: Emily & Jason Valdez, Luke & Tasha Siler, and Lea Siler. Son Drais Farnham Jr. and wife Kitty, along with their two children and families Courtney & Adam Breest & Michael & Ashley Farnham. Son Marc Farnham and wife Sheri, along with Marc’s five sons and their families Marcus, Travis, Shawn, Robert, and Daryl Farnham.

The family will return Clay’s ashes to Mankomen Lake, Alaska to be buried next to his wife in the place they loved the most.

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