Clayton Lee Fixsen was born on December 7, 1976 in Goodland, Kansas. That was only the beginning of an extraordinary life that ended far too soon on September 24, 2022 due to an out-of-nowhere cardiac event while he was attending the Plaza Art Fair, a favorite annual tradition.
Although Clayton’s accomplishments as a child were many, he spoke frequently of his amazing experience at Boy’s State and how much he regretted never getting to go to space camp. Clayton always had tremendous technical aptitude and relished being an early adopter of technology.
He was an accomplished photographer and videographer, animator, and video editor. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of cars, video game consoles, and space travel and could recall obscure actor names at the drop of a hat. Clayton was an avid hobbyist, cyclist, hiker, backpacker, drone flyer, and kayaker. He was incredibly gifted at working through complex human-machine interfaces and had built a career he loved developing those interfaces as part of his work at Garmin. He loved not only his work, but also the people he worked with, which was a theme of his life. Many of his closest friends he met as coworkers.
Clayton had taken up beer brewing which morphed quickly from bottles to kegs. He even brewed a “Say I Do Saison” and a “For Richer or for Porter” for his wedding. When he needed an elaborate Freddie Mercury Halloween costume, he bought a sewing machine at Goodwill and taught himself to sew. That grew into him making hats and shirts and many other things. He was an avid board and video gamer. And the list could go on and on.
Although Clayton did many “things,” he was most passionate about the people in his life. Beyond his husband and son, he was incredibly devoted to the people in his life. He loved his parents deeply and idolized his big brother. His sister-in-law and nieces and nephews were a huge part of his life. He never missed a birthday or opportunity to take a trip for a visit with family. He had numerous friends that he had known for decades and was always willing to meet for dinner or drinks or go for a hike or any other adventure that was suggested. He was the first to offer help when people needed it and absolutely the last to ever ask for any help for himself.
In April of 2007, Clayton met the man who would eventually become his husband on a date at Houlihan’s. Todd and Clayton built a life together for many years before it became legal for them to be married. They had an amazing celebration with friends in October of 2016. Soon after, in 2019, they adopted Oliver who was the apple of Clayton’s eye. He was incredibly devoted to Oliver and made sure he was exposed to as many opportunities as Clayton had been during his own childhood. He looked forward to nothing more than seeing Oliver grow and frequently expressed amazement at new things Oliver was learning and doing.
Clayton lived his life to the absolute fullest. He always spoke about pursuing experiences rather than things and lived accordingly. He is incredibly missed by many.
Clayton is survived by his husband, Todd Messenger and son Oliver Fixsen of Overland Park, KS; his parents Randall and Debbie Fixsen of Goodland, KS; his brother and sister-in-law Brandon and Sara Fixsen of Olathe, KS; nieces and nephews Ella, Logan and Palmer Fixsen; his paternal grandmother Wilma Fixsen of Colorado and many other cousins, aunts, and uncles.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, September 29th from 5-8pm at the Overland Park Funeral Chapel, 8201 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66204. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Hall Residence 815 E 5th St, Kansas City, MO beginning at 5:30 pm on Friday, September 30th.
If desired, memorial contributions are suggested to Oliver's Education Fund or The Sierra Club. Please make checks out to Todd Messenger for Oliver's Education Fund as the account is still being set up.