In Memory

Jim Layman

Jim Layman

James Layman

March 29, 1943 - December 8, 2022

James Harold Layman, 79, of Broomfield, Colorado, passed away on December 8, 2022, after struggling with health concerns for the past few years. He died peacefully at home, which was his very greatest wish.

Jim was born March 29, 1943, in Ogden, Utah, to Theodore “Ted” and Ruth Rampton Gilbert. Jim attended Madison Elementary, Polk Elementary, Central Junior High School, and Ogden High School, where he graduated in 1961. Jim was an excellent student and graduated in the top 1% of the 650 students in his class. He enjoyed being in many clubs and activities, including Boy Scouts of America, where he earned his Eagle rank, Forum Club, swimming team, ROTC Rifle Team, and Drama Club. He loved going on trips with his fellow debaters. He went to Boys State between his junior and senior years. That was a very busy summer for him because he also went to Istanbul, Turkey, as an exchange student for the American Field Service. He stayed with the Gunay family and has stayed in touch with that family ever since. Jim had many fun experiences working for the US forest Service during summer breaks as a surveyor.

When Jim was 5 years old, his mother and father divorced. His father moved to Alaska and eventually, Jim’s mom, Ruth, remarried. Ruth’s husband, Vandelor Layman, adopted Jim and so his surname was then changed to Layman. Jim’s grandparents were very influential in his life, and he was wrapped in love from his Rampton aunties and uncles, and cousins.

Jim was awarded scholarships to both Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and Columbia in New York City. Of course, he preferred the fancier option and stayed there for his freshman year. It was an eye-opening year after growing up in a relatively quiet small town, and it didn’t take him too long to realize he missed his old friends and family. He then accepted a mission call from The Church of Jesus Christ o Latter-day Saints to the Austrian Mission in Vienna. It was during his mission that Jim suffered a severe accident that broke his spinal cord at the C6 vertebrae. He then had to return home for rehabilitation, and he started up his education once again at Weber State. Jim was a very determined individual and would never allow the accident to determine his life. He was back running before it became the thing to do in the 70’s.

While finishing a degree in English from Weber State College, Jim started the Master of Business Administration program at Brigham Young University. It was there that he met his soulmate, Karen Swenson. Karen was in her junior year studying for a degree in Elementary Education. After finishing his MBA program, he and Karen married June 6, 1968, in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Then came children and employment in various agencies of the federal government in 5 different states over his 36 years of service. He also was involved in many church callings and had many wonderful associations with various people with his church assignments.

Jim and Karen were blessed with four beautiful children. Michelle was born in 1969 in Glendale, CA; Stephen was born in 1970 in Salt Lake City, Utah; David was born in 1974 in Falls Church, VA; and then along came Benjamin in 1981, who was born in Wheatridge, CO. Jim loved his children and always was the best of examples for them. He taught them to work and to love fiercely, and to be kind. He encouraged their participation in church, school, and sports activities.

Jim started out his career by taking a job with the United California Bank in Los Angeles, CA, in 1968. He stayed with them only a short time before he took a position with the IRS in Salt Lake City, UT, in what was then the personnel division. He later took positions with the IRS in Phoenix, AZ, and then in Washington, DC, from 1974-1978. At that time Jim and Karen were feeling the need to move back west to be closer to their parents. Jim then too a job offer with the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, CO, as a personnel specialist. He also had employment with the Bureau of Reclamation in Lakewood, CO, and Henderson, NV. After that they moved back to Colorado permanently, where Jim returned to Boulder for the Dept. of Commerce, MASC, where he retired in  2005. His whole career was devoted to personnel and human resources. After 36 years of service, he then came back as a contractor with the Bureau of Reclamation for four more years.

Jim leaves behind his wife of 54 years, his daughter Michelle, and sons Stephen, David(Anchuleee), and Benjamin (Kimberly), and three wonderful grandchildren from David and Anchulee-Tyler (18), Daniel (15), and Ava (11).

Jim was a man of great integrity and displayed genuine love and care for his family and his friends. He was never a person to let life get him down. He always looked for the positive and just kept going no matter what obstacle fell in his path. He is greatly loved and will always be remembered with love by his most important people-his family.

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01/27/23 07:56 AM #1    

Alan Phipps

I can't think of anyone who deserves the name Mr Nice Guy more than Jim



01/27/23 10:48 AM #2    

Brent Clark

JIM LAYMAN Tribute- A long life (almost 80 years) very well lived. My deepest sympathy to Jim's wife Karen, his children, and grandchildren. Brent Clark (OHS Class of 61, and long time resident of Ogden, Utah).

01/29/23 03:12 PM #3    

Jim Sawyer

Jim and I have been fast friends since Ms. Parker's 4th grade class at Polk Elementary.    By luck and chance, I followed him and Karen to Colorado when I semi-retired from Seattle to Boulder County in 2013.  More recently, I relocated to Fort Collins, with Jim and Karen less than an hour away, in Broomfield.  Jim and I have interacted in-person, by phone and the Internet, often.  He will be missed, sorely.  Jim has been a wonderful friend!

02/01/23 06:51 PM #4    

Dianne Farrell (Hale)

Jim was a dear friend to me.  He was fun, considerate, kind, genuine, concerned about others, and incredibly intelligent.  Most of all, I think he brought out the good in people.  I thank him for his friendship (albeit many years ago) and the many ways he inspired me and others to take on challenges and meaningful opportunities in life.  Dianne Farrell (Hale)

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