THE Parade IS November 4th, 2023.
Maureen “Sherrie” Klayton was a board member and advisor of the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade. She was a key player in selecting the themes and historic elements for many of our past parades. Sherrie was born in Long Branch, New Jersey and was a Colorado Springs resident for 45 years. Sherrie was an active Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs volunteer for over 40 years and a retired elementary school teacher.
Sherrie attended Penn State and became an elementary school teacher. In 1977, Sherrie and Alan moved to Colorado Springs when he was assigned to the faculty at the Air Force Academy. Sherrie quickly became involved and deeply committed to serving the Air Force as an active spouse and member of the Academy community. She was deeply patriotic and took great pride in being of service as a military wife. Over the years, she organized many parties and events for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She was an active member of the Air Force Officer’s Wives Club and was given an award for her many years of service as a volunteer at the Air Force Academy Thrift Shop. Sherrie and Alan hosted cadets.
Sherrie exemplified the idea of “Service Before Self”. In addition to her activities supporting the Air Force Academy, she participated in the Colorado Leadership Council, sang with the Colorado Springs Choral Society, actively supported and volunteered for the Black Rose Acoustic Society, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and the gift shop at Temple Shalom.
Sherrie was an awarded photographer and a published writer and had a talent for coming up with the most amazing and creative costumes for costume parties. Always reaching out and sharing sunshine with the people she came into contact with, she would go out of her way to talk to people’s superiors about what a phenomenal job they had done and would always prepare baskets of baked goods for everyone from the trash men to her doctors and of course all her friends and neighbors at holiday time.
Sherrie recognized the value in everyone she met and spoke of and treated each person as if they were special and important. She was genuinely enthusiastic about life and felt deep love for those she knew. Sherrie is survived by her loving husband, Ret. Brigadier General Alan Klayton and their daughters Jennifer and Lauren. She will truly be missed..
We are greatly saddened by the passing of Diana, a leading light in the Colorado Springs Community who loved honoring veterans for the service and sacrifices they made to our country.
Chief Master Sergeant Diana Ceciliani retired from the Air Force in 2000 after serving 20 years of faithful and honorable service to her country. In 2001, her family moved to Colorado Springs where she quickly got involved in the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade serving as their Executive Director. With Diana’s leadership and help from a dedicated volunteer parade board, she transformed the parade from veterans groups paying to march in the parade to a parade supported by generous sponsors throughout the city. Over the next 10 years, the parade grew from 5000 to over 50,000 in attendance, and was reported by the Denver Post as one of the largest Veterans Day Parades in the country. Diana always mentioned she loved seeing the veterans’ smiles going down Tejon Street on parade day being honored by so many people.
Diana, is survived by retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Paul Cecilani and their two sons Nick and Josh. Diana’s significant contributions to the city and veterans will forever be missed.