Monday, July 15, 2024

Layton Rice, 86, of Newport News

Layton Rice (Weymouth Funeral Home & Crematory)

Layton Rice, 86, went to be with his heavenly father on Friday, June 14, 2024.

As Layton would say, he was “born at a young age”, in Flag Pond, TN, to Edd Luther Rice and Thelma Bailey Rice.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Nola Briggs (Seth), Pansy Hensley (Don), Maude Callahan (W.C.), Luther Rice (Juanita) and Hazel Riggs (Orval).

Layton attended school in Unicoi County, TN until 1955, when he reached age 17. He left to join the U.S. Air Force where he served proudly for 4 years. He always felt lucky to be assigned to the Strategic Air Command where he was an Air Force aircraft electrician assigned to fly with and service B-47 nuclear bombers. During his time in the service he visited several foreign countries, including England, Spain, Africa and many more countries on TDY. Layton completed his high school education with the U.S. Armed Forces Institute in 1958. After serving his 4 years, he came to Newport News where he attended Thomas Nelson Community College.

On April 24, 1963, Layton joined the Newport News Police Department, a job he thoroughly enjoyed. He served in various divisions and roles throughout his career with NNPD, including Uniform, Detective Bureau, Youth Bureau, Vice Narcotics, Desk Sergeant, Road Sergeant, Communications Supervisor, and Commander of Vice Narcotics as Lieutenant. He served under 5 police chiefs.

In 1966, Layton met the love of his life. While on police business at the emergency room of Riverside Hospital, he met Edith Joyce Jantzi, a registered nurse. He knew she was special, and he never changed his mind. Edith and Layton were married on May 25, 1968. A son, Jeffrey Scott, was born to this marriage in 1975. Layton’s love for these two persons never wavered. His love for his family was only exceeded by his love for Jesus Christ. Layton always had his priorities in order. He accepted Jesus into his life in 1953 at age 16. He was a Baptist.

In 1984, Layton left the Newport News Police Department as a Uniform Lieutenant after 21 years. He transferred to the Newport News Sheriff’s Department as a Captain, where his job was Jail Administrator. He was promoted to Major in 1985. He retired from the City of Newport News in 1989.

Layton was involved with many civic organizations. He was a longtime member of St. Tammany Lodge #5 AF & AM where he rose in rank and became a Master Mason in March of 1980. He was a member of the Moose Lodge and a Shriner. Layton brought the charter to create the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #25 to Newport News in 1969 and became the first charter member. The Wallace E. Nesbitt FOP Lodge #25 was brought in with many City officials against it at the time including his Chief, but they were placed under a federal injunction after Layton’s challenge in court due to their resistance. He was always happy that he won!

Layton had a love for NASCAR and driving fast cars including his ‘64 Pontiac GTO. After being stopped several times by NNPD for speeding in his early life, he decided to become a police officer with the encouragement of his future field training officer during a conversation on the side of the road during a traffic stop. Becoming a police officer became Layton’s true calling and he always saw anyone wearing the badge as a fellow brother or sister in blue. He also had a special love for Liberty Baptist Church and Russell Reames and the Adult Bible Fellowship Class. He was a volunteer for many years, mowing grass and maintaining the grounds at Liberty Baptist Church.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Edith Joyce Rice and son, Jeffrey Scott Rice, both of Newport News; brother, Kenneth Rice (Charlotte) and sister, Louise Bostic, both of Erwin, TN and many nieces and nephews who enjoyed his good humor, stories and mischievous side. He was the best dad and husband a family could ever dream of having in their lives with his unwavering dedication and endless love and support for them.

The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff of Hospice House of Williamsburg and Riverside Regional Medical Center for the compassionate care they provided to Layton. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Hospice House of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. – noon on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at Weymouth Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be conducted at noon at the funeral home by Rev. Joe Hunt with interment to follow at Peninsula Memorial Park with NNPD Honors.

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