Thomas John Layden, 91, of Hoopeston, passed away at 12:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at his daughter’s home in Fair Play, S.C.
He was born Jan. 19, 1921, in Cheneyville, the son of Edward and Cornelius (Fitzgerald) Layden.
Mr. Layden graduated from Rossville High School and attended St. Joseph’s University in Rensselaer, Ind., and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.
At a simple bridge game, he met his future bride, Bernice Mary “Bunnie” Brickner. They were united in marriage on June 17, 1944, in Burlington, Wis., and were married for 65 years.
The two of them raised seven children and farmed in the Hoopeston area all their lives.
He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Hoopeston and an active member of the 4th degree of the Knights of Columbus in Danville.
His family was the center of his life, especially his grandchildren. He and his wife enjoyed several trips to Europe, one to Hong Kong and Thailand, Costa Rica, Nova Scotia, the Bahamas and to Ireland several times. The most rewarding was receiving a blessing for their 60th wedding anniversary in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. Tom never really retired … there was always one more sale to attend.
Tom is survived by four daughters, Mary Beth (Darvin) Taylor of Bloomington, Jane (Tom) Sweeney of Hoopeston, Susie (Jon) Fobes of Naples, Fla., and Peggy (John) North of Fair Play, S.C.; and three sons, Dan (Libby) Layden of Baltimore, Md., Tim (Karen) Layden of Medinah, and Steve (Kathy) Layden of Oakwood. He also is survived by three sisters and two brothers.
He was Papa Tom to 17 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two more great-grandchildren on the way, Michael Layden and son, Jake, of New York, N.Y., Thomas (Lindy) Layden and sons, Owen and Ian, of Baltimore, Md., Pamela Layden of Medinah, Kimberly Layden of Medinah, Matthew Layden and daughter, Yelka, of Oakwood, Abby Pettit and her children, Raenen, Oliver, Tad and Ave, of Oakwood, Brian (Mandy) Wiltz and their children, Payton, Preston, Micah and Macy Jo of Lexington, David Wiltz of Bloomington, Kevin (Nicole) Wiltz and their children, Anna and Laia, of Bloomington, Megan (David) Penfold and daughter, Aubrianna, of Windsor, Colo., Nathan (Bob) Sweeney of Baltimore, Md., Margaret (Paul) Hart of Nashville, Tenn., Deidre Sweeney of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Eric (Amanda) Fobes and their children, Layden and Lucy, of Kansas City, Kan., Ellen Fobes of New York, N.Y., Hayley (Justin) Jett of Covington, Ky., and Dylan North, of Columbia, S.C.
He was Uncle Tom to many nieces and nephews and Cousin Tom to several cousins. Tom never met a stranger!
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bernice; his parents; one sister, Mary Ellen; and one brother, Paul.
Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Anderson Funeral Home, 427 E. Main St., Hoopeston. A rosary service will begin at 7:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Anderson Funeral Home.
Funeral Mass will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 423 S. Third St., Hoopeston, with Father Chris Layden and Father Patrick O’Neal officiating.
Memorials may be made to the Rossville Historical Society, 108 W. Attica St., Rossville, IL 60963 or the Danville Knights of Columbus, 310 Bryan Ave., Danville, IL 61832.
Visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Tom’s online tribute page and to send the family condolences.