Clayton Donald Eastly

Clay’s smile lit up a room, and his brilliant blue eyes landed so softly on those he loved.

Clayton Donald Eastly was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 21, 1965, and took flight on March 18, 2022.

The son of Donald “Earthquake” Eastly and Patricia Eastly, Clay, also known as “Little Tremor” in his early years, exploded into the world with a pre-ordained fascination for horses, hunting, football, fishing, reading, and developing life-long friendships.

At nine he bought his first horse. At eleven he began hunting elk and deer with his dad after earning the highest marks in his class for gun safety. He was masterful on horseback, and his love of adventure and the outdoors was a cornerstone of his personality. While horses and hunting were his passions, much of his early life was spent bouncing around in the back of a station wagon on family vacations to Pike’s Peak or Yellowstone, listening to Willie Nelson and the Outlaws.

The family moved from West Seattle to Vashon in 1978, and Clay found his forever home in the welcoming community of Vashon – making friends who are now family and nurturing emerging roots that would eventually become a source of strength in adulthood. 1980 brought the arrival of two Shire horses to the family, which ultimately grew to a herd of 13, and Clay was central to their training and care while balancing the demands of wrestling, football, and academics. He did not falter.

Early adulthood revelations confirmed what he suspected—he loved to work with his hands. So after a brief stint in college, he did just that and turned his focus to painting, starting Eastly Painting in 1985. Clay married Michelle Millar in 1986 and welcomed children Taylor and Lane into their family. A man of few words but profoundly reflective, through the daily joy of his children, he fully realized the importance of nurturing others, which also inspired his appointment as the Vashon Football Coach. After “Dad,” “Coach” was his favorite nickname, and most of his ferry time was spent creating special teams and dreaming plays. The team’s grit, talent, and sportsmanship were inspiring, and his commitment to the school, the parents, and the athletes was unwavering.

The last several years involved running his business, delighting in watching Taylor navigate college, spending time with Lane, dear friend Ashley and her daughter Payton, and taking as many camping and fishing trips as possible.

Clay’s smile lit up a room, and his brilliant blue eyes landed so softly on those he loved. His strong exterior was no match for his tender heart, and two minutes in his company would confirm this truth. Through all of the challenges and victories that life offered, he remained flexible, present, and gentle in the way that only true strength provides. Clay lived his life fully until the split second he didn’t. And in that final moment between being “here” and then “there,” he would be the first to affirm that he had way more than his share.

Given that his parents, Donald and Patricia Eastly, have passed to the great beyond, we hope they are together telling stories and laughing until they cry, much as they did in this world. Remaining behind are his children Taylor and Lane, his sister Susan (John), his niece and nephews, Owen, Olivia, and Victor (Susan), Ashley and her daughter Payton, his former wife Michele Millar, many cousins, and an entire community of friends he profoundly cherished.

Immortality exists when we share the stories of those who have gone and extend their goodness to others. So let us do just that.

Clay’s celebration of life will be held on April 23 at 4 pm at the Vashon High School gym. Go Pirates! Go Cougs!