Walter D. Layne
1930 - 2021
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Layne, Walter D. Of Vicksburg, MI Walter DeWitt Layne, 90, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, April 10, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He left this world to meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and looks down on us all, smiling. Walter was born on April 22, 1930 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of Walter Scott Layne and Lois (Cooley) Layne. When Walt was seven years old, his family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan and eventually settled on Long Lake in Portage. Walt initially attended University High School and then transferred to Vicksburg High, where he loved to play football and drive his 1930-era Ford and cruise Doris Lee's malt shop. He made many long-lasting friendships and was elected Class President his senior year. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served for three years (1947-1950). Walt was especially proud of his service on the carrier U.S.S Princeton, where he saw the world, including post-war Japan and China. He performed many duties aboard ship and flew many missions as a crew member of the torpedo bomber squad. Upon his discharge from the Navy, Walt met his wife-to-be, Nancy Van Laar and they were married on September 28, 1951. The couple eventually settled in Vicksburg area, where they raised their three children. Walt worked for the Upjohn Company as a chemical operator for 30 years, winning an Upjohn Award in the process. Retiring in 1985, he and Nancy wintered in LaBelle, Florida for another 30 years. Walt loved to play golf (at one time, close to a scratch golfer) and fish for crappie in Lake Okeechobee. His fish fries were the best. In his youth, he drove stock cars at the Galesburg Speedway and ice-boated. He was incredibly handy and built a number of houses for himself and his family. He was a member of Amazing Grace Baptist Fellowship and belonged to the Gideons International and Masonic Lodge #240. Walt is survived by his wife of 69 years, Nancy (Van Laar) Layne; children Steven (Sue) Layne, Lorrie (John) VerSteeg and Cyndee (Paul) Van Sweden; grandchildren Scott (Chandra) Kellogg, Leighann (Doug) Harris, Travis (Courtney) Van Sweden and Katie (Dan Ramsdell) Layne; 2 sisters, Mary Bullard and Barb Witherow; and great-grandchildren Hank, Clara, Rowen, Zayden and Griffin. Service were held on April 13 at Langeland Chapel in Portage. Interment followed services. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Gideons International or The American Kidney Fund. Please visit Walt's personalized web page to sign his online guest book and leave a condolence or message for his family at: https://www.langelands.com



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Published in Kalamazoo Gazette from Apr. 15 to Apr. 18, 2021.
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3 entries
April 19, 2021
I had the pleasure of knowing Walt and Nancy for many years. He was a great man and a very godly example! He will be missed.
Sandy Nester
Acquaintance
April 16, 2021
Sorry for your loss.
Richard Chesser
Acquaintance
April 16, 2021
My sympathies to Walt's family. I first met Walt at States GC and played golf with him for several years. He was always a very funny guy but also a very down to earth guy and for a young boy to spend time with him was a priveledge. To Mrs Layne, Steven, Lori and the rest of the family, I am truly sorry to hear of his passing. I will remember him fondly!
Jim Douglass
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