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Joseph P. Clayton

November 3, 2018

Joseph P. Clayton, 69, passed away on Saturday, November 3rd, following a brief illness. Joe spent his life leading and serving others in the consumer technology industry as a dedicated sales and marketing executive. He was an inspiration to his wife and family, his friends, and the thousands of people who worked with him at RCA, Thomson, Frontier, Global Crossing, Sirius, and DISH Network.


A passionate leader, hunter, and proud son of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Joe marshalled the resources of the organizations he led to improve the lives of others.  His expansive career in the consumer technology industry drove the explosive growth of color television, the VCR, and digital audio and video programming by satellite.  A devoted Catholic, Joe lent his support to many personal causes, always returning to his roots in the church as one source of his success in business and in life.


Joe was born October 11, 1949, in Louisville, Kentucky. His father owned a liquor store in Bardstown and Joe always assumed he would earn his bachelor and master's degrees, then return to Kentucky to sell whiskey. While his career took him across the world, his heart always remained in Bardstown.


He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Bellarmine University in Louisville.  He was a member of Alpha Delta Gamma Fraternity.  Bellarmine honored him in 2015 by naming the School of Communication building Joseph P. Clayton Hall. 


At Bellarmine, the Clayton family name can be found on Piazza Clayton that is named for Joe’s father, Paul. In Bellarmine’s outdoor stadium, four athletic teams call Clayton Field their home turf.  Additionally, Joe honored his mother, who passed away recently, by creating the Mary Agnes Dugan Clayton Endowed Scholarship.

In 1973, after earning a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University, Joe started his 24-year career with RCA as a marketing associate in New York City.  Over the years, Joe held various positions at RCA, working his way up through product marketing and sales responsibilities at RCA and then Thomson. 


In 1997, Joe was named president and CEO of Frontier Communications in Rochester, NY.  After an acquisition by Global Crossing, he was named Vice Chairman and President of the company's North American region.


In November 2001, Joe joined Sirius Satellite Radio as president and CEO.  Joe served as Sirius chairman from 2004 - 2008.


In June 2011, Joe was named President and Chief Executive Officer of DISH Network Corp., and he retired from Dish in 2015.


A man of many interests, Joe was a lifetime member of the International Bluegrass Music Association and traveled throughout the world - including Hungary, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia --on exhilarating hunting expeditions. In his downtime, he enjoyed watching Kentucky basketball and spending time with his family.


Joe is survived by his beloved wife of 34 years, Jan, and their five children Megan Stovall and husband Matt of (Louisville, KY), Kelly Herr and husband Brock of Carmel, IN,  Kathleen Reitz and her husband Andy of Westfield, IN, John-Paul and Molly of Carmel IN,  as well as grandchildren Samuel, Abigail, William, and Lucas Paul, and siblings Mike Clayton (Leigh Ann) of Carmel, IN and Ellen Willett (Jerry) of Cincinnati, OH.


Clayton is preceded in death by his father Francis Paul, mother Mary Agnes, and brother James Patrick.


Visitation will be Thursday, November 8th from 3 – 8PM at Bellarmine University Gym, Knights Hall, in Louisville, KY. On Friday, November 9th, there will be a viewing at Barlow Funeral Home in Bardstown from 9 – 10:30AM, followed by a funeral mass at 11:00AM, at The Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown with burial in St. Joseph Cemetery.  Rev. Terry Bradshaw will officiate and Rev. Joseph Batcheldor will assist.


Donations may be made to Bellarmine University, 2001 Newburg Rd., Louisville, KY  40205. In addition, Masses may be offered in memory of Joe.


Joe always said, “My home will always be in Kentucky.  I am just passing through everywhere else.”


Barlow Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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