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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grandpa Bill - I Miss You Already

William Athol (Bill) Layton, 84, died December 9, 2008, at his home in Thatcher, Arizona. Bill was a direct descendent of a well-known Gila Valley pioneer, being the great-grandson of Thatcher town founder, Christopher Layton. Bill was born February 13, 1924 in San Diego, California, to Christopher Athol and Laura Foote Layton. The family moved to Safford, Arizona where his parents lived the remainder of their lives. Bill graduated from Safford High School in 1942 and joined the US Navy. He served on a ship in the Normandy Invasion in WWII.

In 1945, Bill married Velma Hockenberry of Mason City, Iowa. The couple lived in Mason City for many years, then Clinton and Dubuque, Iowa. Bill and Velma had four children – Jim, deceased in 1967, Nancy (Idyllwild, CA), David (Clinton, IA), and Charles (Greenfield, IA). Bill worked for Interstate Power Company in Iowa from 1948 until his retirement in 1986. After Velma’s death in 1986, Bill returned to the Gila Valley and lived in Safford. Bill married Gladiolia Vivian Dickson in 1988 and the couple lived first in Safford, then Apple Valley, California, then moved back to the Thatcher in 2001.

Bill Layton was a life-long Freemason, a member of the Safford American Legion Post 32, and an active member of the Safford Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister; his son, Jim; and his wife, Velma. Bill is survived by his wife, Vivian; his children, Nancy, David, and Charles; two brothers, Charlie and Roy; three sisters, Dorothy, Carol Ann, and Joyce; four grandchildren, Laura, Sara, Micah, and Will; and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, December 16 at the Safford Church of Safford, AZ.

This obituary was written by my mother, Nancy Layton in memory and honor of my grandfather. He is missed more than my simple words can say.


Simply Heather said...

I understand, Laura Jayne. Thank you for sharing a bit of your Grandfather's life with us. May you and your family find those moments of joy, love and peace as you all remember his life and learn to live here without him.

With heartfelt thoughts, Heather

Pienovski said...

I'm very sorry to hear this Laura Jayne. I will include you and your family in my prayers. By reading of your grandfather it sounds like he was a truly good man who loved his family and kept God and his purpose close to his heart. There is no better place than God's memory.

Isaiah 26:19; Psalm 37:29

Laura Jayne said...

Thank you so much both of you for these well wishes and warm thoughts. It really does help and I feel blessed that such wonderful people would reach out and be such a positive help in my life right now.

Again, thank you.

cw2smom said...

Oh I am so sorry Laura! Grandpas are so special and so hard to lose! My dad was a Mason as well! I lost my only remaining Grandma about a year and a half ago! I miss her dearly! She was about a month shy of her 90th bday and an amazing woman! You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. Have a safe trip to Arizona! Lisa