Melvin Lee Layne, 66, died on Thursday, July 16, 2015, at North Big Horn Hospital after a battle with cancer.
Melvin was born on Feb. 3, 1949, in Altamont, Tenn., the sixth child of William McKinley and Rosalee Robertson Layne.
His family met an LDS missionary from Lovell, joined the church and moved to Lovell when he was 3 years old. Melvin attended first grade in Lovell. His family then moved again–this time to Pomona, Calif., where he attended school for one year before the family returned to Lovell.
When Melvin was in high school he worked nights at Big Horn Canning Company. They assigned him the night cooker position to allow him time to keep up with his schoolwork. Following high school graduation and one year at Northwest Community College in Powell, Melvin received his compulsory invitation from the draft board to join the U.S. Army. He did his basic training and AIT in Fort Lewis, Wash. After a short visit home, he was sent to Vietnam, where he spent all of 1970 as a “foot-doggie,” a sniper and a tunnel rat. He, along with four other soldiers, was sent into Cambodia several months before the military was officially in Cambodia.
He did his R & R in Australia, which he loved, and then returned home the day after Thanksgiving. He shipped out the day after Christmas, this time to Germany. He spent the next seven months in the Frankfurt, Germany area as a driver. He was honorably discharged and returned back home the end of July 1971.
After his honorable discharge, he worked at Deaver Schools on a government training program.
Melvin married Marwyn Walker on Dec. 31, 1971, in Lovell.
In September, 1972, they moved back to Brookings, Ore., and bought a working share in a plywood company/lumber mill. On May 1, 1975, Melvin and Marwyn sold their share in Brookings Plywood and moved back to Lovell, where Melvin worked one campaign at Great Western Sugar, then went to work for Georgia-Pacific Corp., where he spent the next 35 years. He made many lifelong friends while there.
Melvin spent his time coaching his children’s baseball teams and USA wrestling. He also helped the 4-H and FFA kids with their pigs and sheep. He loved the time he spent helping his own children, grandchildren and many others with their animals and looked forward to the time spent at the Big Horn County Fair every year. The resulting friendships have been a treasured part of his life.
After his retirement, Melvin’s two huge gardens dominated his time. He attended the farmer’s markets in Lovell, Powell and Cody, where he became affectionately known as “The Onion Man.”
Melvin is survived by his wife, Marwyn, and their nine children, Stacy and Eric Miller of Laramie, Jundee and Jan Layne of Rock Springs, Erica and Chad Foster of Greybull, Barry Layne and Tara Barnes of Pinedale, Denise Layne and O’Neil Walters of Rio Rancho, Calif., Andy and DeeDee Layne of Casper, and Heidi and Nathan Christenson, Austin Layne and Alisha Athmann and Tegan Layne, all of Lovell; four brothers, Earl and Mary Layne of Brookings, Ore., Jack and Roz Layne of Medford, Ore., Johnie Layne and Carolyn of Whitefish, Mont., and Alton and Pat Layne of Cheyenne; sisters Mildred and Bob Bate of Harbor, Ore., and Lois Layne of Lovell; sister-in-law Carol Layne of Lovell; one uncle, Claude and Millie Robertson of Lovell; 25 grandchildren and numerous special extended family members. He loved them all dearly.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents and brother, William Wiley Layne, and his nephew, Ronald Layne.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at the Lovell LDS Stake Center in Lovell. Burial followed at the Lovell Cemetery. Haskell Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.