Denzil

April 9, 1937 ~ July 3, 2020

Born in: Beaumont, TX
Resided in: Redondo Beach, CA

Denzil Leon “Mike” Claypool passed away peacefully from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease on July 3, 2020. He was born on April 9, 1937, in Beaumont, Texas, to his parents, Denzil and June Claypool.

Like many families during the depression and WWII era, the family moved many times, until finally settling in Redondo Beach, CA. Mike attended local schools and was a proud graduate of Redondo Union High School. As a teenager in the 1950’s, Mike enjoyed playing sports, being a part of the burgeoning South Bay surf scene, and driving the exotic sports cars being sold in his father’s short-lived, but exciting, automobile dealership.

After doing his part by serving in the Army National Guard, Mike became a master roofer, building roofs throughout the South Bay with his brother John’s company, Claypool Roofing.

Although Mike loved playing all sports, his true passion was golf. Watching, playing, coaching and talking about golf were his favorite pastimes. He was a proud member of the El Camino College golf team, and was even prouder that he could still shoot in the 70s for many decades afterwards.

One of the highlights of his life was the opportunity to work for Todd Pallis’s Plaza Golf shop in Torrance. During his 22 years working there as a sales clerk, he spent his time telling tall tales with the best of ‘em, and providing expert golfing tips and advice about the latest equipment.

Upbeat and personable, Mike was well-liked and always enjoyed spending time with his many friends. Mike also loved to read, watch movies, and listen to music, especially the jazz of his youth.

He was a loving brother to sisters, Jane Claypool Miner (deceased) and Anne Claypool Seislove, and to his brother, John Claypool. Uncle Mike was also a kind and cheery uncle to his many nephews and nieces. He will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made online to https://yourcaringhouse.org/donate-now-2/

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  1. A wonderful brother-in-law & lots of fun times sharing a love of golf. He was a great & fun uncle to our kids. He was one of a kind & will be missed.

  2. candle 7Todd Pallis says

    Mike was my best friend, a second father and my golf coach. He was wise and helped me a lot in life also. He loved to teach golf and was great at it. He was a real good player even into his sixties. If he needed to make a big putt “for all the money” as he would say, HE MADE IT EVERY TIME. He was so personable and people loved to come see him at Plaza Golf. He was so witty and entertaining. Great sense of humor too. I love him and will miss him dearly.

  3. candle 7Mikey will be truly missed. We will miss his stories and his laugh. His kindness and friendliness to everyone will never be forgotten.

    We want to share one particular story that we have not really told anyone. Many of you may know that Mikey did not like writing because of the Parkinson’s.
    When we worked with him, he often asked us to write for him, which we were happy to do. When we got married in March of 2019, one of the best and most touching gifts we received was a card Mikey hand wrote to us. It touched us to the depths of our hearts more than we ever think he could understand.

    It was a pleasure to have met him and have him be a part of our life.

    We will really miss you Mikey.

    Fondly,
    Sergio and Lilly

  4. I was sad to hear about Mike’s death. I knew him for almost 70 years.
    John was my best friend so I spent a lot of time with Mike in the 1950’s; at the beach; at the Gertruda house; and at Alondra playing golf.
    His girlfriend in high school was Margarita Hawker; her brother Mark was a good buddy of Mike.
    I remember Mike and Margarita gave John and me a ride to RUHS on our first day of high school.
    He liked to tease and needle with his wry wit; but as I look back on it he was never once really mean to me.
    One of his favorite lines was “If you’re so smart – why ain’t you rich ?”
    I remember those cars from Continental Motors; particularly that 4 door black Jaguar; and the Porsches.
    My first car came from his Dad – a used 1954 VW; 27 horsepower. I think it was left over after he sold the business. I owned that car for years; and I never remember servicing it once; not even adding oil.
    Mike and John roofed my house a hell of a long time ago – and that roof is still good.
    I feel fortunate that I got see Mike from time to time at Plaza Golf for the last 20 years; even though the thing we talked about the most was how bad our golf games had gotten. I will truly miss Mike.

  5. candle 4Mike was a great guy in so many ways, I am lucky to have called him uncle. He and his brother were very fun and lenient babysitters, taking me to the beach, taking me to watch their friend’s big color TV, letting me swim in the harbor. Later, I recognized that he was simply one of the friendliest, and kindest people ever. Always interested, always willing to keep in touch with people, always willing to lend a hand or give a compliment. He had a very nonjudgmental attitude towards others. He was a bright but humble man who liked to talk a lot and to read a lot (when golf wasn’t available).

  6. I got to know Mikey over the past 7+ years of working together with him at Plaza. I will miss his presence, and his stories. Most importantly, he would always ask each of us how we were doing, and how our families were. He was very knowledgable in golf, and he was always very kind, and wanting to help even if he knew he couldn’t because of his health limitations. I will miss his kindness and generosity, and his smile. The store is just not the same without him there now!! We love you Mikey, and we all miss you.

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