John Clayton Crouch, Sr. was born in Augusta, Georgia, August 12, 1956, son of Charles Lanham Crouch Jr. and Betty Clayton (Washburn) Crouch. The family relocated to Los Angeles in 1957, where he attended Third Street School, and Harvard School for Boys.
Clay earned his undergraduate degree (B.A Economics) at Washington & Lee University in 1978. He was a member of the Sazeracs, and the Big Brother Program. Clay received an MBA from Emory University - Goizueta Business School in 1983, where he met his future wife Andrea and was quickly elected Social Chairman.
Clay enjoyed a long career as a sales and marketing executive in the global food manufacturing industry. He was North American General Manager of the Arcor Confectionery Group, one of the largest food manufacturers in the Americas. At Arcor he launched numerous product lines and oversaw all brand development, product design, marketing strategy, and its overall North American business development.
He used his experience to create his own food distribution company – Summit Development, where he interacted with various companies including Brock Candy, McKee Foods, Canels, Ragold, Garoto, and Foxmark.
Eventually, Clay went to work directly for the McKee Foods Corporation. As an international business development executive for many years he was responsible for all business activities outside of the continental U.S., with particular focus on the markets of Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, U.K., and the Pacific.
Recently, Clay had been a sales and marketing strategist as president of his own company, Horizons Global Trading. He built the International presence of Little Debbie Snack Cakes among others – in the markets of the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific.
Clay was a trustee of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, created to award scholarships (The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award) to students at 85 colleges and universities, mostly in the Southeastern U.S.
He was a longtime resident of Lookout Mountain, and he had an active role in the Outreach Haiti Committee which works to educate and improve the lives of children in the St. John the Evangelist School in Petit Harpon Haiti. His involvement included development work in Chattanooga and construction efforts on site in Haiti.
Clay Crouch was gifted with a broad array of talents, which he seemed to practice effortlessly: designer, gardener, builder, landscaper, impressionist artist, genealogist, pianist, sailor, equestrian, party planner and host, a well-versed anglophile, and an au courant on everything West Indies. The foremost humorist and storyteller. He was a master craftsman of the mint julep and the rum punch - the Mardi Gras sazerac and the Christmas eggnog.
A devoted husband and father, Clay is survived by his wife, Andrea Meyer Crouch, and two sons, John Clayton Crouch Jr., and James Lanham Crouch. Also, brothers Charles Lanham Crouch (Julie), and Brabston Washburn Crouch (Dru), both of Los Angeles. In addition Clay was loved by a large extended family coast to coast. He will be dearly missed.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. at Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to either the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, 1109 Van Buren Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655 or Outreach Haiti, PO Box 145, Lookout Mountain, TN 37350.
You are encouraged to share a memory of Clay and/or your personal condolences with his family by visiting his memorial web page and guestbook at www.companionfunerals.com.
Companion Funeral Home and the Cody family are honored to assist the Crouch family with his arrangements.