David Albert Layne

May 27, 1953 ~ June 15, 2022 (age 69)


David Albert Layne 
May 27th, 1953 - June 15th, 2022

David was born on May 27th, 1953 and raised in Modesto, California by his parents, Elvin and Lou Kathryn Layne. He was the youngest of four children (Danny, Alan, Kathy, and David) and was described by his siblings as always his "mama's baby" as they were growing up. From a young age, David excelled in school. His kind heart, sociability, and genuine love of people surrounded him with people who cared about him and created friendships that would be lifelong. As a child, David loved building model cars. By the time he was in high school, that interest had blossomed into a passion for building and racing real cars. Ever the mechanic, his passion for cars expanded to include motorcycles, model airplanes, and anything else he could get his hands on to tinker with and understand. He loved to know how things worked. He built his first racecar with a close friend while they attended junior college together and eventually started a model airplane business where he designed, created molds for, and built his own planes. In order to get his business off the ground, he drove all across the United States to compete in model airplane exhibitions and races, and, as with anywhere David went, to make friends.

After a number of years pursuing his passions, he found his greatest passion of all: Shelley, a coworker at Upper Limits who would eventually become his wife. In marrying Shelley, he joined a family that already included two young boys, Joshua and Jeremy, who were 6 and 4 years old at the time. David readily stepped into the role of husband and father, always showing unconditional love and support to his sons and wife. He coached baseball teams, participated in Boy Scouts as a troop leader, and never missed a band concert, graduation, theater performance, or game that either of his sons were a part of. From the moment they fell in love, David encouraged his wife to follow her dreams and to explore her interests. He was unendingly selfless and unwaveringly caring.

David's love for animals led him to become vegetarian in 2010. He volunteered at the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary with his wife, took care of multiple pets, and was, at certain times in his life, an avid birdwatcher.
David’s service to the nation, its safety, and its security began in 2001 at Sandia National Laboratories where he contributed to a successful system designed to destroy legacy chemical weapons. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory David was a talented technician who contributed to a variety of teams and projects including ballistic armor research, the National Ignition Facility laser, the Electron Beam Ion Trap which helps LLNL, NASA, and the world to understand in finer detail Astrophysics and the makeup of the Stars in our universe, the Scorpius Project, and finally the Jupiter Laser Facility where High Energy Density physics is explored in previously unseen realms and where the information will be used to keep the nation safe for all our futures. 

After working at LLNL for 17 years, David began to consider retirement. He loved his work, but was ready for a new chapter in his life. He and his wife were in the midst of renovating their home together with plans to move and to travel. His passion for racing had been reinvigorated. He had a Corvair, his favorite model of car, parked in the backyard, ready to be turned into another project car - just like the ones he had worked on when he was a young man. Most important of all, David and his wife were the happiest they had ever been. They said "I love you" every morning and spent every night together working on their house, watching shows, and going on adventures. The last couple of weeks David was alive he spent most evenings with his wife eating dinner outside and observing a baby hummingbird that had hatched in his backyard. It was perfect.

David is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Shelley, his two sons, Joshua and Jeremy, and two of his siblings, Alan Layne and Kathy Thurman. Words cannot express the impact that this loss has not only on David's wife and family, but also on the many others who he meaningfully touched with his kind heart and contagiously selfless personality. David was a man who loved life as much as it could be loved. He loved his wife. He loved his sons. And he loved the feeling of togetherness created through his absolute trust that not only did he care deeply for his friends and family, but they cared just as much about him.

A memorial service for David will be held Friday, July 1st, from 2-4pm at the Fry Memorial Chapel in Tracy. 550 S Central Ave, Tracy, CA 95376.

In remembrance of David Layne's life, his family asks that charitable donations be made to the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, Attn: David Layne Memorial Fund, PO Box 998, French Camp, CA 95231. (Federal Tax ID#: 56-2515797).

Click here to view a webcast of the service on 7/1/2022 at 01:55 PM, Pacific Standard Time.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Albert Layne, please visit our floral store.

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July 1, 2022

2:00 PM
Fry Memorial Chapel
550 S. Central Ave.
Tracy, CA 95376

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