Cover photo for Marie Claytor Rudison's Obituary
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Marie Claytor Rudison

February 4, 1937 — January 8, 2023

Marie Claytor Rudison

Ms . Marie Claytor Rudison passed away peacefully at the age of 85.

Marie Belle Claytor Rudison, an anointed woman of God, devoted mother, a woman of beauty and class, who dedicated her life to helping others pursue their dreams, passed from time into eternity on January 8, 2023. She was a champion of justice and a soldier to humanity and the epitome of selflessness. Born 1937, in Des Moines, Iowa to Fletcher and Dorothy Claytor, she was the 4th of 7 children. Marie loved her family dearly and always acted as a second mother to her younger siblings: Henry, Morris, Freddy, Helen, Liz and Joyce---anytime she spoke about her siblings she had a smile on her face. A strong proponent of education, Marie attended East High School and later attended Drake University. She encouraged and doted on her sibling’s academic accomplishments and supported their endeavors.

At an early age, Marie developed a relationship with the Lord. While attending East 17th Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of Bishop L. H. Ford Sr., she was saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. The rest of her life was spirit filled and fueled by a passion to lead others to Christ.

As an evangelist in the church, Marie organized many events. One of the most memorable events was The Young People Willing Workers Scholarship Banquet she organized in the 60s. The YPWW was developed to help young people in the church attain academic scholarships. Marie held the event at the Sheraton Lincoln Hotel in Houston, Texas—this was the first time the hotel opened its doors to people of color. Not only was the banquet a success, it was also a historic moment in Houston.

In 1959, Marie married Clair Rudison Sr. They had four children, whom she continuously lifted in love and ensured they had everything they needed. Marie was known by the whole family and her community as having a green thumb and being a phenomenal cook! Every holiday she was excited to cook, as that was one of many ways she showed her love – bringing the family together to pray and break bread


Marie’s food wasn’t the only thing that was remarkable. Her lifelong dedication to civil rights and social justice was unparalleled. Her advocacy led her to serve her community, whether through the NAACP or her work alongside two honorable Texas legislators. She embodied what it meant to be a servant leader.

Her legacy of love will be forever cherished by her sister Joyce, her four children: Jean, Clair Jr., Kimberli, and Reuben and as well as her many grand and great-grandchildren.

While we will miss her, we have peace knowing she is resting in the arms of Jesus and knowing her light will continue to shine in all of us.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marie Claytor Rudison, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm

Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home

3500 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50313

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