Robert Lawrence Layton, Sr.
DELMAR — Robert Lawrence Layton, Sr., 81, of Delmar and formerly of Cambridge, Ocean City and Salisbury, died Wednesday, April 4, 2012. He was a businessman in the three states of Delmarva for over 50 years.
Born on a farm at the edge of Cambridge on February 15, 1931, the fourth son of Robert E. and Elsie Todd Layton, he was preceded in death by an infant brother in 1918, Monroe E. Layton in 1966 in Cambridge and Francis O. Layton in 1991 in Daly City, Calif. Mr. Layton’s father died in 1944 and his mother in 1984.
On March 31, 1951, he married Peggy Jean Lewis of Fishing Creek on Hooper’s Island. Rev. Dale Ruth performed the ceremony in Easton. Mr. Layton was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
By this marriage of over 61 years, survivors with fond memories include three sons, Robert (Larry) Lawrence Layton Jr. and his wife, Pam Kraft Layton of Ocean City, Terry Van Layton and his wife Jill Truitt Layton of Ocean City and Ladd Lewis Layton; six grandchildren, Beau Lawrence Layton, Lisa Kristen Layton and Lucas Lynch of Delmar, Morgan Julia Layton, Shelby Lawren Layton, Robert (Bobby) Lawrence Layton III and Macy Van Layton, all of Ocean City; and two great-grandchildren, Kaya Alexus Layton and Kaleight Amarese Layton of Delmar. Other survivors include cousins in Dorchester and Wicomico counties, a nephew and two nieces and their families in California and Minnesota.
In 1951, at the age of 20, Mr. Layton was named sports editor of The Daily Banner in Cambridge, becoming the youngest sports editor of a daily paper ever in Maryland. He maintained that position as well as assistant city editor until 1960, and for two years, 1960-62, continued in the newspaper business with The Daily Times in Salisbury. In the 1950’s, he organized several youth leagues and other programs. It was while he was with the Banner that his role in having Frank (Home run) Baker voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, that Mr. Layton was honored with being named to be among the charter members of the selection committee for the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame. Mr Layton also served eight years, 1951-59, in the Maryland National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.
In 1959, the Laytons started their first business venture, a coin-operated laundry in Cambridge, which led into a chain of 22 operations in six counties on the Delmarva Peninsula. In 1960, they started their first business in Ocean City. Two of those Ocean City businesses, Layton’s Dip’n Donuts Family Restaurant on 16th Street and Layton’s Family Restaurant on 92nd Street, for several years have been owned and operated by Layton sons, Larry and Terry and their families. The Laytons developed, owned and operated other properties on the Eastern Shore including Court Plaza on South Salisbury Blvd in 1975, and Layton’s Salisbury Sports Club in 1976, which they operated for 25 years before selling in 2001. It was the largest privately owned indoor recreation complex on Delmarva, starting with six indoor tennis courts and gradually changing over the years into primarily an indoor soccer complex with over 2,000 youngsters playing each weekend during the season. For over 30 years, Mr. Layton also maintained a private tennis court in Ocean City, where he hosted many well-known figures, including Vice President Spiro (Ted) Agnew, with whom he played tennis for 29 years.
In 1960, the Laytons moved to Salisbury, maintaining residences and businesses in Salisbury, Ocean City and Delmar. Upon moving to Salisbury, the Laytons became members of Trinity United Methodist Church. Mr. Layton’s other memberships included Optimist Club of Salisbury (life member) since 1960, United States Tennis Association (life member), golf clubs, etc.
In the mid 1990’s, Mr. Layton wrote two books and auto-biographies, “Pride,” and “Peg and I.” They highlighted the history and pride of Cambridge and Dorchester County including the fact that seven Maryland governors came from Dorchester County. The book also noted many national figures who had homes in the county, visits by several presidents and famous major league baseball players who got their start on the Eastern Shore.
Mr. Layton and his wife, Peggy, enjoyed travel throughout their married lifetime, visiting all 50 states and over 30 foreign countries. They also enjoyed reunions with his Cambridge High School Class of 1948, and reunions with the undefeated Cambridge Clippers basketball team of 1949-50, which were held at least annually for the last several years.
Always a lover of animals, in 2000, at age 69, Mr. Layton purchased farm acreage in the Whitesville area of Sussex County in Delaware, where he developed and operated a horse farm and race horse training facility on Line Road, naming it State Line Ranch. The Laytons enjoyed a variety of scores of animals including minature horses, Chincoteague ponies, burros, pygmy goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, geese and standardbred race horses.
For most of his younger years, Mr. Layton was involved in a vairety of sports as a coach, manager, official and sponsor and into his 60’s he enjoyed going on snow ski trips with his family. More recently Mr. Layton and his loving wife, Peggy, enjoyed weekly lunches at his son’s restaurant while enjoying family and friends.
Mr. Layton, “Bob”, “Dad”, “Bobby” or “Pop-Pop” will be greatly missed by all.
A memorial service will be held Monday, April 9, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Salisbury. Family and friends may call one hour prior to the service.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Trinity United Methodist Church or the Salisbury Optimist Club.
Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, 501 Snow Hill Rd. Salisbury, Md. 21804.To send condolences to the family visit www.hollowayfh.com.
Claude Lawson Jr.
BERLIN — Claude Lawson Jr., 83, of Berlin died Saturday, March 31, 2012 in Salisbury.
Born on March 23, 1929 in Virginia he was the son of the late, Claude Lawson Sr. and Emma Eunice Lawson.
Mr. Lawson worked as a Baltimore City police officer and retired as sergeant after 25 years of service. He served in the US Marine Corps and was honorably discharged as a corporal. Claude was a member of the NRA and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3. He was known for his eagerness to volunteer and his sense of humor.
He is survived by a son, Michael Lawson and his wife, Mary of Middletown, Del.; daughter, Donna Stetka and her husband, Michael of Baltimore; and sister, Lucy Lawson. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Heidi, Michael, Kelly and John.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Emma Lee Moore.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury with a visitation held one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Springhill Memory Gardens in Hebron.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his memory to the American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Ct, Glen Allen, Va. 23058.
Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, 501 Snow Hill Rd. Salisbury, Maryland 21804.To send condolences to the family visit www.hollowayfh.com.
Francis Xavier Snoots
OCEAN CITY — Francis Xavier Snoots, “Frank”, 48, died Thursday, March 29, 2012 at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. Born in Washington, DC he is the son of Lawrence E. Snoots and Margaret Hagerhorst Snoots.
Along with his parents, he is survived by his brother, Lawrence E. Snoots, III, “Cory” of St. Petersburg, Fla.; his sister, Teresa “Terry” Lanham and her husband David of Edmond, Okla.; and several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Snoots had attended St. Andrews Catholic Church in Ocean City.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are being handled by the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.
Polly Lee Phillips
BERLIN — Polly Lee Phillips, age 89, died Monday, April 2, 2012 at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.
Born in Salisbury, she was the daughter of the late Lee Insley and Pauline White Insley Purnell. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, William P. “Bill” Phillips, Sr. and her daughter, Susan P. DeGroft and her husband George of Berlin. She was preceded in death by her sons, William P. Phillips, Jr. and L. Richard Phillips.
She is also survived by her grandchildren, Dr. David Phillips Smack, Christopher Cordrey Smack, Elizabeth Insley Smack Davis, George William DeGroft, III and Heather Arters, and her great grandchildren, Caleb P. Smack, Abigail P. Smack, Christopher C. Smack, II, Thomas H. Davis, V, Hannah A. Davis, George W. DeGroft, IV, Meghan Arters, Matthew Arters and James Arters. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Jane Purnell.
Mrs. Phillips had worked for many years as a teacher and librarian with the Sussex County Board of Education. She was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Berlin, the Altar Guild, Levin Winder Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Maryland Eastern Shore Chapter of the Colonia Dames, Sinepuxent Questers and the Ocean City Golf and Yacht Club.
A funeral service was held on Thursday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Berlin. Interment followed in St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard. Rev. Michael Moyer officiated. Donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3 Church St., Berlin, Md. 21811.
Arrangements are being handled by the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.