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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Obituary: Layman, John G.

John G.

John G. “Jerry” Layman passed from this world to the next on March 1, 2016.

Surrounded by his loving family and friends, he found the best and last fishing hole, full of trout, a tasty shore lunch and a good Scotch waiting for him on the bank.

He was born on November 7, 1932 in Wapato, WA to John and Maxine Layman and grew up and met his future wife, Jackie, in the Quinault, WA area where he also began his lifelong passion for fishing.

Jerry and Jackie were married on July 10,1953 and began their nearly 63 year marriage and life of adventure raising their five children.

Jerry graduated from Grays Harbor Community College in 1951, and Gonzaga School of Law in 1956.

Jerry’s scholarly achievements were many as he was valedictorian at Quinault High School, Grays Harbor Community College, and Gonzaga School of Law.

Upon graduation from law school, Jerry began his long and notable law career, soon founding his own firm and serving as senior partner for over 50 years.

In 1974 he also began his second career as President of Farmers and Merchants Bank - a position he held for over 35 years.

Jerry was a diverse man who led a full and interesting life.

Both an athlete and scholar, he was both Washington State Junior College Extemporaneous Speaking Champion and National Junior College Extemporaneous Speaking Champion in 1951.

He was a lifelong learner of the complex and esoteric and an early adopter of technology to serve both his law practice and banking career.

He enjoyed playing baseball and fast pitch softball -where he was a noted pitcher in the Spokane area into the early 1980’s.

In 1985, Jerry was awarded the prestigious Washington State University “Cougar Dad of the Year.”

Jerry also served as a trustee for Greater Spokane Incorporated.

He enjoyed tennis, racquetball, snow and water skiing and was not someone to be trusted around a pool table - in his own home or a tavern!

His golf game was consistent throughout his life - consistently not good.

He once had a friend and golf pro tell him that he was the first person he had instructed whose golf game actually improved after having a stroke.

The one passion he loved to share with his friends and family was fishing.

He literally wet a line all over the world but was most at home in the bow of his beloved red drift boat floating a Montana river chasing trout.

Jerry and Jackie also kept a boat on the Washington coast for 25 years and landed many limits of Kings and Silvers up and down the northern Pacific coast.

Jerry was always quick to note that the biggest King salmon and Dorado he had ever seen boated were by his fishing partner and wife Jackie.

Although Jerry could whip you in pool, throw a fly like few men ever have, and hurl a softball 80 miles per hour - he was first and foremost a husband, father, grandfather, mentor and an entrepreneurial leader.

Jerry was often the smartest person in the room, but used his intellect to teach, move problems forward and for most of his banking and law career, to help people.

Whether you worked for him or you were his client - he cared for you and fought hard for you in the board room or the court room.

While well known as a hard charging and competitive man - he was loyal, loving and generous to his friends, family and community.

Jerry spent the last nine years splitting time with family and friends at his lake home on his cherished Bottle Bay in Sagle, Idaho and at his home in San Carlos, Mexico.

He fished and golfed with friends and grandkids.

Yelled for his constant companion and protector “Shadow” and held court on the decks over-looking Lake Pend Oreille or the Sea of Cortez with equal grace, humor and interesting discussion.

Well taken care of and loved by his wife Jackie, Jerry was able to enjoy a sip of Scotch and a fine meal at home right up to the last few months of his life.

Jerry Layman was preceded in death by his parents John and Maxine and his eldest daughter Debra.

He is survived by his wife Jackie in Sagle, Idaho, sons John (Mayto), Jay (Anu) and Jamey and his daughter Lori (Mark) Mitchell, his grandchildren James, Joe, Anna (Daniel) Blackledge, Jay Jr., Sarah, Austin, Gian, Jackson, JD and Andre, his great-grandchildren Sanai, Kyrie, Shaylee and Jude, his sister Cynthia (Frank) Bauer and numerous nieces and nephews and special family members Becky and Karen.

Jerry will be missed as a husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend as the world has lost an interesting and brilliant human being.

Fish all over the world are sleeping easier with Jerry’s passing as are grounds keepers on golf courses from here to Mexico.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at the Atrium at Rockwood, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation, Sacred Heart Hospital and Hospice of Spokane.

There will be a celebration of life for Jerry at the family lake home at 16 E. Bottle Bay Rd in Sagle, Idaho on Lake Pend Oreille on July 30, 2016 at 2:00pm.

We hope you can join us for some storytelling, fond memories and as always, good food and drink.

In lieu of flowers the family would ask that donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at, Dysautonomia International at or The Brain Injury Alliance of Washington Spokane Chapter at

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