John J. "Jack" Layden

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Service Information
Jillson Funeral Home Inc
46 Williams St
Whitehall, NY
12887
(518)-499-1040
Obituary

Layden, John J. "Jack" WHITEHALL John J. "Jack" Layden, 92, of Whitehall, passed away at Glens Falls Hospital in the presence of his daughter on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. A lifelong resident of Whitehall, he was born on May 21, 1924, the son of Leon M. Layden (1893 to 1955), a lawyer and a judge on the New York State Supreme Court and Mary H. (Morgan) Layden (1892 to 1930), a schoolteacher. Jack graduated from Whitehall High School. He attended Holy Cross University in Worcester, Mass. before joining the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. He attended flight school, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and was assigned as a B-17 bomber aircraft commander with the 336th Bomb Squadron of the 95th Bomb Group. After the war, he returned to Holy Cross to finish his degree, graduating with a B.A. in 1947 as a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Society. He went on to Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., graduating in 1950. He was admitted to the Bar in New York State the same year. Jack returned to Whitehall, joining his father and later his two brothers in the law firm of Layden & Layden. Jack married the love of his life, Eleanor H. Lewis, on October 23, 1954. They had six children and established a home at 54 Williams Street where they resided for many years. In addition to his work at Layden & Layden, Jack served the Whitehall School District for over 40 years. He was a member of the Board of Education from 1952-1970, including time as president of the board in the late 50's-early 60's. He also served as legal counsel for Whitehall School District from 1960-1999. Jack was instrumental in the centralization process of the Whitehall Central School District during 1957 and 1958. The purpose of the centralization was to provide equal educational opportunities to every boy and girl in the area and to build a campus that would bring rural students and village students together. He also served as counsel for Hartford School District. Jack was a communicant of the Our Lady of Angels and Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Churches in Whitehall and a 70 year 4th Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Council #276 and a Life Member of Whitehall Elks Lodge 1491. A consummate gentleman, Jack was a man of great intelligence, compassion and wit. He was a devoted husband and father, always putting his family above all else. He was the epitome of the "Greatest Generation," brave, courteous and self-sacrificing. He was well-respected as an honorable and ethical lawyer. Jack was a keen observer and analyst of world events, having experienced so many himself. As a boy, he met FDR, he saw Lou Gehrig play baseball, and he and Eleanor shared a dance floor with Jimmy Stewart and his wife. His aircraft was in formation behind the last U.S. aircraft to be shot down in the European Theater. His children will always remember his great love for boating and camping on the islands of Lake George. After the Army made him a pilot, he maintained his piloting skills and his passion for flying for many years. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife of almost 50 years, Eleanor; his sister, Mary (Layden) Winn; and his brother, Edward Layden. Jack is survived by his children, Leon Layden of Denver, and his children, Justin and Sean, Dr. Jack Layden and his wife Lori, of Glens Falls, and Jack's children, Patrick, Meaghan, John and Cassondre, Paul Layden of Miami, and his children, Sarah, Lauren and Daniel, Robert Layden of Villa Park, Ill., and his children, Sarah, Kathrine and Jacob, James and his wife, Susan of Manhattan Beach, Calif. and their children, Connor, Claire, Christopher and Colin, and Helen (Layden) Parsons and her husband John. He is also survived by his brother, Leon of Hudson Falls and many nieces and nephews. Friends and family may call from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, at Jillson Funeral Home, 46 Williams St., Whitehall. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, June 13, at Our Lady of Hope Church of Whitehall with the Pastor Reverend Rendell Torres officiating. Burial will follow immediately after the mass in the Our Lady of Angels Cemetery with full military honors conducted by the Whitehall American Legion Post 83. The Whitehall Elks Lodge #1491 will meet at 7:15 p.m. for a Lodge of Sorrow. The Knights of Columbus will meet at the funeral home, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. for saying of the Rosary. Online condolences may be made at jillsonfuneralhome.com
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Published in Albany Times Union on June 10, 2016
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