Robert Claxton

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Swain Arts Center
1415 Fontana Road
Bryson City, North Carolina, United States

Obituary of Robert Stephen Claxton

Robert Stephen (Steve) Claxton also known as Mustard Seed, 63, of Robbinsville, NC, went home to be with the Lord Sunday, September 15th, 2019.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Swain Arts Center on Saturday, September 21st at 1pm.

A native of Bryson City, he was the son of the late Robert Warren Claxton and Phyllis Dillard Claxton. Steve is survived by his wife, Rebecca Payne Claxton; daughters, Brandi Claxton (Jason), Ashley Claxton (Cola), and Virginia Austin (Mark); five grandchildren, Scout, Marion, Rowan, Levi, and Mason; three brothers, Mike Claxton (Deb), Mark Claxton (Melissa), and William Claxton; special aunt Judy Phillips (Wes).

Steve Claxton was a loving husband, son, brother, father, grandfather, and friend. He never met a stranger and dedicated his life to serving others. Steve loved his church and attended the Bryson City Presbyterian Church since birth. Steve was a graduate of Swain County High School, where he played basketball and football. He also graduated from Western Carolina University, where he was the kicker on the football team.

Steve served as the Director of Swain County Recreation Department for sixteen years, where he had an integral part in operating Summer Day Camp, establishing and running Swain County Senior Games, teaching swimming lessons, running youth sports programs, and many other endeavors. He also helped establish the Morgan Pavilion and the Island Park.

Steve then served as Director of Community Schools for Swain County School System.  Under Steve's direction, Swain County School's began their After-School program. He was also instrumental in the early formation of what would become the Maroon Devils Network, by recording and playing back Swain Athletic events on local cable tv. Steve helped establish the Maroon Devil Athletic Hall of Fame. Even though it sounds impossible, Steve was both a Swain County Maroon Devils fan and a Robbinsville Black Knights fan.

Steve loved the outdoors and spent as much time as possible at his favorite place on Earth, Hazel Creek. Steve was an expert fly fisherman and has been fishing Hazel Creek since age nine, which is also where he met and married his wife, Becky. Steve’s business, Smoky Mountain Adventures, provided guided fly-fishing trips and camping at the “Hazel Creek Hilton”.

In 2008, in memory of his mother, a career teacher in Swain County, and to raise money and awareness for education, Steve rode his bicycle from Oregon to North Carolina. In 2016 at the age of 60, Steve completed a seven month thru-hike covering the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail. His Appalachian Trail thru-hike was to help call awareness to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and to raise funds for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the Friends of Barnabas organization.

Steve was a huge supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, where he served as a member of the local advisory council, local coordinator, and as a big brother to a local youngster. He also helped establish a Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Graham County.

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation to the Swain County and Graham County Big Brothers Big Sisters programs at or consider becoming a big brother/sister yourself.

Matthew 17:20  He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


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