Carol and Barrie Clayton pose for a photo indoors.


Passing on a proud tradition

The Claytons’ commitment to charity is as close to their hearts as their beloved Alberta farm

Chapter 1 The early years

Barrie and Carol Clayton have always shared a love of farming. They discovered that soon after they were introduced by Carol’s brother, a classmate of Barrie’s at the University of Alberta.

After getting married in 1965, they moved to the farm near Calgary that had been started by Barrie’s grandfather in 1901. They’ve been running it together ever since, farming wheat, canola, hay, and beef cattle, and raising their two children.

For the first 30 years, times were tight; it was difficult for the Claytons to support the organizations they wanted to in a meaningful way. But eventually, with time and hard work, they became financially stable enough to donate to a few organizations. One of these was Heart & Stroke. 

Chapter 2 A shared history

Besides their love of farming, Barrie and Carol also share a family history of heart disease.

Barrie’s grandfather died of a heart attack; his mother had a heart condition and eventually died from a massive heart attack. Carol’s grandfather also died from a heart attack, while her mother and father both experienced heart attacks.

Carol Clayton stands on a combine harvester

Carol maintains an active life on the farm.

Barrie Clayton stands next to a tractor

Barrie lives with arrhythmia, which is controlled with medication and a pacemaker.

Barrie and Carol have made annual donations to Heart & Stroke and have now planned a legacy gift in their Wills.

“Heart & Stroke is dedicated to advocating for education around heart disease, like how to better your lifestyle choices and maintain proper health measures,” Barrie says. He and Carol are also keen to support research that will reduce the toll of these diseases.

And now, Heart & Stroke research means even more to them. “In ‘family tradition,’ I have heart issues which are fortunately controlled with medications,” Carol revealed. Barrie has arrhythmia which is controlled with medication and a pacemaker.

“I’m grateful for the medical advances that have been made because the condition I have isn’t interfering with my lifestyle at all,” he says. “I have things I need to watch, but it’s not a big issue.”

Chapter 3 Looking to the future

They hope their legacy gift will help Heart & Stroke research, continue to benefit future generations, Barrie adds.  

The Claytons also want to set an example for their children and grandchildren. “We want to leave a legacy of hard work, careful management of resources and community service to support organizations that we feel are valuable,” Barrie says.

I’m grateful for the medical advances that have been made because the condition I have isn’t interfering with my lifestyle at all.
Barrie Clayton

Meanwhile, Barrie and Carol are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle by remaining physically and mentally active.

“Our old bones break more easily, and muscles ache more often – but we can’t complain. It’s better than the alternative!” Barrie says.

“We are pleased our donations to Heart & Stroke contribute to improved knowledge and medications to help people like us live with these challenges,” Carol says. “Continuing research and education, we hope, will enable better outcomes in the future.”