||CLAYTON TOLSON, National Honor Society 3, 4; French
Honor Society 3, 4; Math Honor Society 4; Gamma Tri-Hi-Y 2; Clinic Assistant 2; STARSTONE
Clayton Rossell Tolson died on Sunday, July 30, 2017, at the Dover Center for Health and
Rehabilitation, Dover, New Hampshire, where she had most recently lived since moving from
Durham, New Hampshire, in 2013. Born on March 14, 1942 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
she was the daughter of Florence Clayton (Rossell) Tolson and Captain Bernard Reid Tolson,
Jr., USMC Reserve. Her paternal grandfather, Bernard Reid Tolson, Sr., was known for
many years as the Mayor of Union Station in his capacity as general manager of
that major transportation hub of the United States. Her maternal grandfather, Col.
Joseph A. Rossell, served in the United States Marine Corps and was twice Commandant of
the Portsmouth Naval Prison, his last service during 1941-1945 when the prison focused on
the rehabilitation of men to enable them to return to duty.
Clayton grew up in Arlington, Virginia. She attended Mary Washington College of the
University of Virginia in Fredericksburg, and the Washington School for Secretaries in
Washington, D.C. She had a distinguished career as an administrator for the State
Department. Her frequent tours of duty took her to many countries in North and South
America, Europe, Africa and Asia, some of which were dangerous and challenging
assignments. After retiring from government service, Clayton moved to Durham where
she lived from many years on Mill Pond Road. Her home was filled with furniture,
artwork, crafts and momentos of her many postings. She was a gourmet cook and
enjoyed hosting friends and family for wonderful dinners. Clayton had a fondness for
international students and often had students living with her. She was an active
member of St. George's Episcopal Church where she served on the Women's Guild and worked
in the thrift shop for many years. She also loved playing Bridge and Scrabble,
playing both as often as possible.
In addition to her parents, Clayton was predeceased by her aunt, Margaret C. Tolson, a
well known symphony pianist from Washington, D.C; and Margaret (Peggy) McLane of Durham,
New Hampshire, also an active member of St. George Episcopal. Survivors include her
sister, Bernardette (Nancy Moll) of Grass Valley, California; two nephews, Steve Moll of
Folsom, California, and Michael Moll of Carlsbad, California; a niece, Jennifer Moll Law
of Nevada City, California; six grand nephews, Preston and Joshua Moll; Camden and Jameson
Moll; Jackson and Benjamin Law; a grand-niece, Kaia Moll; her cousin, Margaret (Meg)
McLane of Alexandria, Virginia; and her long-time friend, John Hill of Newcastle, New
Hampshire. The family expresses heartfelt thanks to Father Michael Bradley and Mr.
Richard Lewis of St. George Episcopal Church and other members of the congregation who
have so lovingly and generously given their time and effort assisting Clayton in many,
many ways over the last few years. We are sincerely grateful to you all.
A Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated on Saturday, September 9th at 3:00 pm at St.
Georges Episcopal Church, One Park Court, Durham. Interment will be in St.
Anne's Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland where Clayton will be laid to rest with other
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Salvation Army,
http://www.salvationarmy.org, for recovery assistance for those affected by Hurricane