Dwayne Clanton

19541220 –


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Dwayne was born to Tommy John “TJ” Clanton and Bettye Nelle Baker on December 20th, 1954, their third born of 5 Clanton children.
As fate would have it, God brought him into this world right before the big Christmas rush at the family restaurant Tom & Bingo’s Bar-B-Q. By age 7, he was standing on a pickle bucket chopping onions for customers. His daddy put a match in his little mouth to keep those tears from runnin’. As a child, he had the sweetest smile on his face, and was so easy going. He loved being a brother.
Dwayne was a natural born athlete. He began baseball in the Pee Wee’s coached by his dad and honed his skills in Colt league where they qualified for the World Championships. In high school, he was a standout at 3rd base and catcher and helped bring in the very first State Baseball Championship for Monterey High school in 1972, under Coach Bobby Moegle. He was proudly inducted into the LISD Athletics Hall of Honor with his team in 2015. Dwayne also played football at Evans Jr. High and  was a hard hitting defensive linebacker at Monterey High School. During his first start, ever he made 13 tackles and was defensive player of the week, according to the paper he was a “terror” on that Saturday night.
After graduation, he attended Texas Tech University and studied Horticulture. He only had 16 hours left to graduate, but decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. He was definitely a chip off the “ole block”. After spending, much of his free time as a child helping his dad at the store he became the next generation Pit Master for Tom & Bingo’s Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q in 1984. He was instilled with a true “Texas Grit” work ethic from his parents. His roots of labor grew on the family farm where he tended to rabbits, exotic birds, the feed store and a large garden.
Pit master Dwayne Clanton was a Lubbock icon and garnered numerous accolades: Texas Monthly Top – 50 Best Bar-B-Que Joints in Texas (twice), other mentions in Texas Monthly Magazine, a feature on the Texas Country Reporter and ESPN college Game Day and was included in Road Food (the coast-to-coast guide of the top 800 Restaurants) and the Texas Map Guide. He proudly bottled his famous BBQ sauce which is currently for sale in select Texas Market Streets and HEB’s. The sauce was an HEB Quest for the Best Finalist in 2015. As one customer put it, the Bar-B-Q was great, but the man was better.
Dwayne may have worked indoors, but his passion was for the outdoors, God’s creation. He loved to ski the mountain, fly fish the river, fish and boat the lake, and hunt the wilderness. When the BBQ ran out he was “gone fishin’”.
Dwayne met the love of his life and best friend, Liz Lawson in 1989. Actually, it was more of a reunion, as they had been classmates since Jr. High. They were married 6 months later, on August 12th and a 27-year love story thus began. It was a package deal. The story book began with Liz’s 10-year-old daughter Heather, whom he loved like his very own. On August 7th 1990, they welcomed their bundle of Joy, Kristi Bess and the twinkle in his eye beamed with pride ever since. Kristi inherited his good looks, athleticism and strong work ethic. He became Pop D on April 27th, 2015. His granddaughter Stella Ray came into this world on his Mom’s birthday and she stole his heart ever since. Dwayne was a humble family man. He was real. He was very set in his ways, and lucky for us his ways were hard working, loving and providing for his family- which he always put first. Dwayne’s true joy in life was his wife, daughters, granddaughter, siblings…his entire family. He was the best son, brother, husband, dad and granddad. Dwayne was our rock, our leader our love. He was ready to fight, but Jesus had other plans.
Survivors include his wife; Liz Clanton; daughters, Heather Espina and husband, Denis; Kristi Timmons and husband, Ian; granddaughter, Stella Ray Espina; siblings, A.I. “Bubba” Clanton and wife, Debby; Becky Cathey and husband, Reggie; Brenda Dunn and husband, Rodney; Melinda Ogle and Bob Sikes; and his Morkie, Crosby.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tommy John and Bettye Nell Clanton; and his Chocolate Lab, Trailer.


Memorial contributions are welcome and the family suggests, Special Olympics, 4601 50th St #215, Lubbock, TX 79414 or Lubbock’s High Point Village, High Point Village 6223 County Road 6300 Lubbock, TX 79416.


26 thoughts on “Dwayne Clanton”

  1. Marsha Heskett

    Oh Liz, my heart is breaking for you & your family!! I always thought that you & Dwayne had the sweetest love story, & I know that the same Lord that brought y’all back together 27 years ago, is the same tender Shepherd that holds & comforts you now. I’ll always remember Dwayne’s quick smile & larger than life personality. And of course…the best 3rd baseman MHS ever had!Youre in my prayers now & will continue to be, sweet friend. Marsha

  2. Liz my heart breaks for you and yours and Dwayne’s children. My prayers are with you all during this very difficult time. Dwayne will be missed by so many. Most importantly are all all of the prayers that are with you and the family to support you and give you comfort during this time. Again my heart, love and prayers are with you and your family. I am so very sorry and the Lord be with you all.

  3. Benny & Marlis Bennett

    Benny and I send our sincere sympathies to the family. Dwayne’s kind character and winning smile will certainly be missed. He will be greatly missed. Praying that God comforts and that you rest in His peace.
    “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ” Isaiah 41:10

  4. Liz, I know this is a shock for you, as with us all. Just from your posts on fb, I know he was a devoted husband, father and Pops. I enjoyed viewing pictures of you, Dewayne, girls and the precious grand baby. Such a happy and loving family. He will be missed. I pray God will bring peace and just keep his arms around you and your family as you go through this grieving process. I too, as a young child spent many hours at Tom and Bingo. My father and Dewayne’s father were dear friends. I knew who Dewayne was in high school, because he was the best looking guy at Monterey. God Bless you, and know you will be in my prayers.

  5. Paul Samaniego

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family May God grant you peace for you and the family in the coming months.

  6. Sorry to hear of the loss of such a good man. I grew up on Tom and Bingo’s. BBQ. There is none better. My prayers a thought to those touched by his loss for he will be deeply missed

  7. Liz I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband Scott went to school with Dwayne. And introduced me to your Tom and Bingo burger 1984. I fell in love with your sandwiches. My hearts just breaks for you not getting much retirement together. Praying for you and your family. Please know Dwaynes smile will always be remembered.

  8. Dwayne was a great man and will be missed. May God bless you and your family. Thank you for all the years of great food and fellowship!

  9. Everyone is born with Greatness, but only few achieve it. Dwayne Clanton was one that perfected it, in every endeavor. I am greatly saddened for his Family. For Dwayne now, I know Heaven is filled with his Greatness we all will deeply miss.
    My heart cries for The Clanton Family.
    My soul prays for God’s comforting love to help you heal.
    A very special prayer for Liz.

  10. Doannie and Robert Rose

    Please accept our sincere and deepest sympathy, it was a shock that such a good man be taken way too soon! We will keep your family in our prayers, know Dwayne will be missed beyond words.

  11. I’m very sorry to hear this, and my sympathy goes out to his family and friends. T&B was always my first stop on my increasingly rare visits to Lubbock.

  12. Leo and Joyce Archer

    We are Sending our sincere sympathy to the family of Dwayne …Our family has known Dwayne for many years..Jon and Russ went to school and played baseball with Dwayne ….Leo and Bobby Magel being their coach & manager…We have visited with Dwayne over the years at Tom and Bingo’s…..Dwayne was always smiling and happy… It hurts so to lose our young people Sending prayers for Dwayne’s family

  13. Liz, Kristi and Heather, I hurt for you when I saw the news of Dwayne’s passing. I always admired and loved this wonderful Evans tennis family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there. God bless you and be with each of you during this trying time. Jon Mize

  14. I always looked forward to running into Dwayne. I had a building near his, so that was pretty often. Memories of many good conversations & stories. Dwayne was a genuinely nice guy & he will be missed. When I’d tell him he could run for mayor because everyone liked him, that always got a good laugh out of him.

    Liz, to me it looked like you & Dwayne were meant for each other. On the many days when I came in late & the place was empty, we’d share time together & it was plain to see how comfortable the two of you were together. My heart breaks for you. Sincere condolences for the family.

  15. Janice Brumley

    We are very sorry to hear about your loss of Dwayne. We enjoyed meeting him and having lunch at Tom and Bingos.

  16. Jerice Chambers Talley

    Liz, please know that you and your whole family are in my prayers. You have my deepest sympathy. I remember going to Tom & Bingo’s when going to Hutchinson Jr. High. We will all miss Dwayne Clayton.

  17. Mike Cunningham

    I was on my way out of town to Arizona for a mission trip when I got the news of Dwayne’s passing. I am still in shock and saddened. The last conversation he and I had was the day before he went home from the hospital a few weeks ago when my wife Rebecca hospitalized just down hall from his room. We talked about kids, grand kids, and hunting and fishing. We will miss him–especially Bryan as Dwayne really took an interest in him. Our Saturday lunch tradition won’t be the same without Dwayne. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God’s speed!–Mike, Rebecca, and Bryan Cunningham

  18. From a 70 yr old lady who lives in Abilene now – I remember the good lunch I had many, many days as a student at J T Hutch. It was a highlight of a tough 3 years of Jr High. Everyone we are in Lubbock – we tried to come by and grab a sandwich. May God comfort the Clanton family.

  19. When I was a student at Hutchinson Junior High, I was a regular lunch customer at Tom & Bingos. One of my friends and I raised rabbits, and Tom Clanton was our mentor and friend. That was in the early 80;s. The lat time I had lunch at Tom and Bingos was a couple of weeks ago. I never have an easy time passing Tom and Bingos, and actually dont remember driving down 34th close to lunch time without stopping. Dwayne was a part of my life as Tom and the Restaurant. They all kinda go together. Ill miss him.

  20. Lynnda & Jarrell Jenkins

    Liz, Heather, Kristi, we grieve with you for your loss. The 8200 block of Louisville was a great place to raise a family, and we enjoyed being your neighbors many years ago. Jarrell still ate with Dwayne when he was in the area and thought the BBQ was great along with the proprietor. We will keep you in our prayers.

  21. Margie jefferson

    I’m very sad to hear that wayne is no longer with us. I will miss coming to buy my favorite sandwich, and talking politics with him.

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