Layfield remembered for his love of children

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2005

A Greenville man dedicated to his family, his church, his community and the children of the world lost his battle with cancer last Friday.

Steve Layfield’s life was honored with a memorial service on Monday morning.

Born in Columbus, Ga., Layfield grew up in the city of Auburn and graduated from Auburn University with a degree in early childhood development.

&uot;He was an awfully good fellow – we called him ‘Mr. Kiwanis.’ When he had to step down as secretary- treasurer due to his health, it took just about all of us in the club to fill his shoes,&uot; said fellow Greenville Kiwanian Susan Murphy on Tuesday.

Layfield’s widow, Mary Beth Layfield, recalled her husband held &uot;a gamut of offices&uot; in the civic organization during his many years of service.

&uot;Steve served at every level in the Kiwanis you can serve – local, state and international,&uot; said Mrs. Layfield.

Her husband was honored by the Kiwanis at a special celebration last October.

&uot;We wanted to give Steve some special recognition while he could still enjoy it and appreciate it – and I think the experience was good for him,&uot; said Murphy.

Layfield, who worked in the Greenville branch of the state employment office for 27 years, had served as its manager since the mid-1980s.

He was very active with his church, First United Methodist of Greenville, where Layfield had taught Sunday School, served as the president of the United Methodist Men’s Conference and was former chairman of the administrative board.

&uot;Steve really loved being involved in the SIFAT missionary projects through our church and went on several mission trips to Ecuador and Bolivia,&uot; Mrs. Layfield said.

This husband and father will probably be remembered best, his widow said, for his love of children.

&uot;Steve enjoyed children so much. He loved going over to W. O. Parmer Elementary and volunteered there quite often, along with the OCAP and the HeadStart programs here in town,&uot; said Mrs. Layfield.

Layfield was a skilled juggler and used his talent to entertain children locally and overseas on mission trips. He also coached Dixie Youth baseball and girls’ softball in his early years in the city.

Layfield, a staunch Democrat, was a former chairman for the Butler County Democratic Party.

&uot;We have felt a void ever since Steve got sick. He will most certainly be missed in this community,&uot; said Murphy.