American Patriotic 10

Larry Dean Layden

October 13, 1943 ~ February 28, 2022 (age 78)

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Larry D. Layden, Lincoln, Nebraska was born October 13, 1943 to James C. & Dorothy (Wilkinson) Layden in Tecumseh, Nebraska.  Larry lived in Table Rock until his high school graduation from Table Rock, 1961. Larry passed away in Lincoln, Nebraska on February 28, 2022 at Tabitha Journey House from heart issues.

Larry married Maria Rios of Lincoln, Nebraska on May 20, 1974 in Lincoln. Larry was married to the love of his life, “Lucha”. They traveled extensively throughout the U.S. & abroad, making many happy memories together. Lucha spoiled him with her Spanish cuisine which he dearly loved…teasing her that that was the reason he married her. They made one another truly happy until the very end.

Larry attended UNL while working as relief/operator for the CB&Q/BN/BNSF RR. His continued railroad career led him to Fremont, NE, attending Midland Lutheran College; later back to Lincoln where he continued his education at Wesleyan Univ. Larry’s tower operator expertise began in Alliance, NE, eventually locating him at various tower operations within the railroad, ending at Lincoln Carling Tower for 30+ years until retirement.  Larry retired with 44 years of distinguished railroad service. Larry was a skilled operator, handling his positions with confidence & conciseness. Larry was meticulous & handled the most difficult tasks; primarily the successful transit of trains in & out of Lincoln & beyond. Trainmen knew they could depend on Larry to safely perform his tasks, ultimately nicknaming him, “Line ‘em Up Larry”. His superiors never doubted his decisions & regularly depended on his knowledge, skills & safety. Larry was known for his “keen wit” & occasionally used it to diffuse tense situations. Railroad personnel knew if Larry’s wit was directed at them, they probably deserved it! Larry was a fair & intelligent man, eager to help anyone that needed his assistance. Larry was a well-read, avid reader; always learning something new & willing to share his knowledge. Larry was a great historian with an unmatched memory for details. People often requested he share his knowledge of railroad history & that of his beloved hometown, Table Rock. Larry offered many oral & written stories of things he loved, filled with fun, fact, & fiction. The world has lost a great historian, friend & gentleman.

Larry was a sharpshooter, receiving top awards with the Marines, while sharpshooting other “questionable targets” along the way. Larry loved a good joke, a prankster himself, & had a gift of “unmatchable wit”. Larry loved packing tape, securely taping packages & envelopes which required fillet knife surgery in which to open by recipient. Larry cherished his childhood friends & memories, never forgetting his roots. If you loved Larry, Larry loved you back. Larry loved playing football for the Table Rock Tigers, with a little Center Offense “rowdiness” mixed in. Larry spoke 4 languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese & Witticism.

Larry was granted a break from the railroad to serve his country. Sgt. Larry Layden proudly joined the US Marine Corps 1964-1967 and then Marine Reserve thru 1970.  He was a Vietnam Veteran, stationed in Okinawa, Japan as a Radio operator.  He received Electronics & Vietnamese Language Schooling. Larry was a 50 year member of American Legion Brown-Hays Post 289, Table Rock, Nebraska.

He was preceded in death by his parents J.C. & Dorothy Layden; in-Laws Gabriel & Tomasa Rios; twin Sister Lois Gager; sisters & brothers-in-Law Betty & Lloyd Vrtiska and Beverly & Earl Wilcox; nephews Kevin & David Wilcox; grandparents.

Survivors: Wife Maria; brother-in-Law Shad Gager; nieces & nephews Gloria & Larry Joy; Joy & Don Robison; Jerry & Sandy Vrtiska; Vicki & Kevin Billings; Mike & Deb Wilcox; Jim & Charlene Gager; Alan & Claire Gager, special great-niece Gretchen Hess, special great-great nephew & nieces Beau, Neely, Noelle & Bree Hess, loving them as the grandchildren he never had, many other great nieces, nephews, cousins, family & friends he dearly loved.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the United Methodist Church in Table Rock, Nebraska with Pastor Dorothy Smith officiating.   The service will also be livestreamed on the Table Rock United Methodist Church Facebook page. A link to the livestream is now available on the bottom of his webpage.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 4, 2022 at the United Methodist Church in Table Rock, Nebraska.

Memorials may go to the Table Rock Historical Society or to the family's choice.

Interment will be in the Table Rock Cemetery, Table Rock, Nebraska with military honors.

Services are entrusted to Wherry Mortuary, 919 G Street, Pawnee City, Nebraska.

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March 4, 2022

9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Table Rock United Methodist Church
436 Pennsylvania Street
Table Rock, NE 68447

Funeral Service
March 5, 2022

2:00 PM
Table Rock United Methodist Church
436 Pennsylvania Street
Table Rock, NE 68447

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