Clayton Chance, former engineering professor, dies at 88

Clayton Chance

Clayton Chance, who taught engineering technology at NAU for 18 years, died Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, in Cottonwood. He was 88.

Dr. Chance was born Feb. 27, 1922, in Peoria, Ill. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University.

Dr. Chance married Rose Irene Davis in El Paso, Texas, on June 12, 1944, just prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. He fought in the European Theater during World War II, an offensive by the Allies that included D-Day airborne troops landing in France, the Battle of the Bulge and the eventual surrender of Germany.

After his military discharge, Dr. Chance worked for Euclid Machinery Company in Cleveland for seven years before moving his family to Austin in 1953. He then earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a professor in UT’s School of Engineering for 13 years. Dr. Chance taught for one year at St. Joseph Junior College in St. Joseph, Mo., before moving with his family to Flagstaff. He served as an associate professor of engineering technology at NAU for nearly two decades, retiring as the first Professor Emeritus from the School of Engineering Technology in 1985.

Dr. Chance moved to Cottonwood after his retirement and became an active member of the Verde Baptist Church where he served in many roles. He delighted in singing with the Golden Boys ensemble for several years and had a love of antique cars and travel.

Dr. Chance is survived by Rose, his wife of 66 years; his sons Curtis (Kim) of Livingston, Texas, David (Jean) of Gilbert, and Richard (Stephanie) of Colleyville, Texas; seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Services were held at the Verde Baptist Church in Cottonwood. Dr. Chance received a burial with full military honors in the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Verde Valley Christian School, 102 S. Willard St., Cottonwood, AZ 86326.

An online guestbook is available at Westcott Funeral Home’s website.