Henrietta community honors man that was killed in fire Thursday night
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The community of Henrietta has raised over $14,000 for a GoFundMe page to honor 44- year- old Ryan Clayton. He lost his life in a house fire Thursday night but is being remembered for impacting the lives of those around him.
“I don’t know how anybody can forget him he just had an infectious personality, an infectious smile and he was always smiling. He was loved by many and if you knew Ryan you just gravitated to him,” said LaDonna and Terry Walsh, family friends of Ryan Clayton.
Clayton was living in a home on his father’s property when it caught on fire.
“I woke up around 3 a.m. on Friday, I just picked up my phone and there was an unusual post. It had a picture of Ryan when he was young and I thought this particular person was a volunteer fireman and I thought oh no something is wrong,” said Dee Anne Littlefield, a friend of Clayton’s.
Friends and family who called Ryan ‘Ryno’ said the loss is unimaginable.
Walsh said she got to know Clayton because he and her son Randall Walsh were best friends and for them, it was more than what meets the eye.
“He’s had a hard time and he has been through a lot since he was paralyzed in a car accident 24 years ago. But no matter what happened he never let that get him down,” said Walsh.
The funds raised from the GoFundMe page that was set up on Friday morning will help the Clayton family with funeral costs and other expenses.
“His dad is disabled and is on a limited income of course he said ‘I can take care of my boy,’ but I know that the people in Clay County want to help. I just felt this was the best way that we could allow everyone to help and I am just blown away by the response we’ve gotten from the GoFundMe. I set it at $8,000 and now it’s at $14,000, I just had no idea how quickly it would jump up,” said Walsh.
Support is being seen all across the Clay County community with Clayton’s friends helping build his final resting place to Dee Ann Littlefield who bonded with Clayton over a love of nature and cats making a special shirt in his honor.
“My friend’s son died in a wildfire and Ryan found out about it. Later that night he texted me a poem that he had written about Cody and Sydney and about how they had perished from the flames. I texted my partners and I said my goodness it’s almost five years to the day that Ryan wrote that poem and then he died in a fire. Then they both replied we have to do a t-shirt fundraiser,” said Littlefield. “Ryan was such a big part of our community that we wanted to do something for him and this community is rallying around them and the family.”
Littlefield said proceeds from the t-shirts will also be going towards helping his family and they have already begun seeing orders come in.
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