Ronald Dean Layton finished his sojourn here on earth, January 9, 2024. We echo the words of a friend who said that endings mattered, and so it was with our father, all beginnings and endings mattered to him. Dad was our guiding star, leading our family with love and optimism. Next to his wife and children, his testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was his dearest treasure, and his greatest desire was to leave this earth with this conviction engrained in his soul, because to him endings mattered.
As his health began to decline, Dad was looking forward to a grand reunion with his parents, Willis Hyde and Elma Fullmer Layton, his Sister ReNae Layton Cook and his angel grandsons who left us soon after their births, Andrew Willis Layton and Preston Scott Gardner. He also anticipated greeting his grandparents and a number of dear relatives and friends he loved here on earth.
Our father taught us the value of work; to do our best, and to stick with the job until it was completed. Dad loved a challenge. At one point or another he helped most of his children fix up, remodel, build, or just beautify their homes, and he did it with gusto until the job was done, because endings mattered to him.
Dean was born on his mother’s birthday, which created a special bond between them. April 22nd was always a fun day, celebrated with a big freezer of homemade ice cream and a delicious wheat sponge cake with strawberries on top. Dean and his siblings, ReNae, Stanley, and Merrill were raised on a fruit farm in Centerville, which was a great place to grow up. After graduating from Davis High School, Dean attended BYU and the U of U. He served in the Southern States Mission, and upon his return joined the Utah National Guard. He soon met his future wife, Elga Jessen, and they married a year later in the Salt Lake Temple. Throughout the following sixty-six years they were blessed with nine children, forty-three grandchildren and fifty-three great grandchildren.
Dean had a twenty-year career in sales and corporate management with Westinghouse Electric Supply Company and finished another twenty-three years in a partnership with his brother Stan, in a lighting and electrical supply business.
While raising their family, our parents taught us the gospel through word and example, and allowed us to govern ourselves. Each of us knew we were loved, that our parents trusted us, and would support us in our righteous desires. We had a happy home with basic rules that were not hard to follow. It was the place friends were always welcome to hang out or get a bite to eat.
Dad devoted much of his time in church service, teaching and leading the youth, and serving in a number of leadership positions. He had the opportunity to serve as Bishop twice, and as Stake President. In 1997, mom and dad were called to preside over the Canada Winnipeg Mission. They often reminisce about those three amazing years and love all the missionaries they served with. After returning from Canada, our parents served a second leadership mission in the Thailand Bangkok Mission for one year and later joined their friends, Clarence and Jayne Jones with a humanitarian project to Myanmar. This proved to be a most amazing experience, thanks to the many friends and family members who so generously contributed financially to make this huge endeavor a reality. Dad also spent a considerable amount of time in our community, serving two separate terms on the Centerville City Council, was a committee member of the city historic Whitaker Museum, and organized the first Centerville Chapter of “The Sons of the Utah Pioneers.”
Dad is survived by his five sons and their wives, Richard and Cami (Robinson), David and Sheri (Robinson), Lynn and Robyn (Arbuckle), Bryan and Kandis (Leishman), Matt and JeriAnn (Dudman), and his four daughters and their spouses, Kathy and Rick Barton, Christy and Sean Cosper, Lisa and Shane Christensen, Laura and Preston Gardner. The love he has for his family is demonstrated in the words he often expressed to our mother. “I constantly pray for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; that there will be no empty chairs in our Layton Heavenly Home.
Our parents spent a portion of their retirement years in Santa Clara, UT. There they found new friends doing missionary service. Mom and Dad spent the last two years of his life at Covington Senior Living of Farmington, where they made many new friends and attended the Steed Creek branch. We express thanks to the care takers and to Dr. Stephen Merrell who took great care of him and attended to his many needs.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 15, 2024, at the Centerville South Stake Center, 270 North 300 East, Centerville, Utah, with a viewing prior to the services from 9:30-10:30 a.m. A viewing will also be held on Sunday, January 14, 2024, from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main Street, Bountiful, Utah.