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James Haden Layman Jr. (“Jim”), 82 years of age, of Roanoke, Virginia, was welcomed by heaven on February 15th, 2023. He was born in Roanoke, Virginia on April 16th, 1940, and is preceded in death by his parents Lucy Reedy and Ja... Read More
James Haden Layman Jr. (“Jim”), 82 years of age, of Roanoke, Virginia, was welcomed by heaven on February 15th, 2023. He was born in Roanoke, Virginia on April 16th, 1940, and is preceded in death by his parents Lucy Reedy and James H. Layman Sr., partner in life, Janie Salvatore Layman, brother, David Leland Layman, sister, Carolyn Sue Layman, and brother-in-law, Curt Dickerson.
Jim is survived by his brothers and sisters, Jean Dickerson, Joyce McCarty, Richard Layman, and Randy Layman; and sisters-in-law, Judy, Mary Beth and Sandra Layman. Also surviving Jim are his two beautiful daughters, Karen Layman DeHart and Lori Layman Russo, who gifted Jim with wonderful grandchildren: Joseph Russo Jr., Brice DeHart (spouse: Samantha DeHart and children: Charleigh and Briley DeHart), Salvatore Russo (spouse: Anna Russo), Haley DeHart, Dominic Russo, and Angelo Russo (spouse: Amélie Russo) as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jim spent most of his life in Roanoke, Virginia, where he attended William Fleming High School. Following high school, Jim joined the Army at the age of seventeen. He later enjoyed a rewarding career as a maintenance engineer at Allstate, where he retired after twenty-eight years.
Jim was a jack of all trades and enjoyed the simpler things in life. No one ever had anything but nice things to say about Jim—a true testament to his good faith and character. Jim was the calm to all storms and left all his loved ones with invaluable wisdom that will help guide them in all their future endeavors. Jim left us with some of these words of wisdom, which were found by his family while rummaging through paperwork dating all the way back to the 80’s. The following letter was written by Jim on December 23rd, 2009, and reads:
“I leave this message for all my family and friends gathered here today to celebrate my life, not my death. I love you all so very much. Please don’t be sad that I am gone for I am confident that I am in a better place. I feel that I have had a good and full life and God blessed me with many skills that provided for me and my family. We were not made perfect, and I was a little short on the social skills. But luckily, for 30 some years I had a lovely wife that provided so much to my life in so many ways. She also gave me two beautiful girls who also gave me five grandchildren that I so adored and loved. I am so thankful that God gave me the guidance and ability to have had all of this, for my family is worth more to me than all the world’s gold. My life was not without some failures, but I feel failures are sometimes an opportunity to learn. God will not throw you a curve ball that you can’t hit even if it is a single instead of a home run. He will give some of you some heavy loads, but if you try hard enough you will be able to carry all of them. I want to leave you with one last thought. I have always believed that God made the world and all that is in it. Even though in my later years I did not regularly attend church, early in my life I learned God’s ten commandments and I tried to live by them. I believe that if you do your best to live by God’s ten commandments, you will have a good life with few regrets and especially a clear conscience. I pray that we will be together again in God’s mansions in Heaven. God bless you and keep you safe and God bless this country and the world.”
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m.on Friday, February 24, 2023 at Oakey's North Chapel with Pastor Scott Hamilton officiating. The family will receive guests from 12:00 p.m. until the service time at the funeral home. Mr. Layman will be receiving Military Honors from the United States Army at the service.
Arrangements entrusted to Oakey's North Chapel, 6732 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke, VA 24019 (540) 362-1237
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