An amazing woman, Peggy Ann Thomas Layton, aka Maga and Peach, passed away in her sleep peacefully Sunday morning, September 27, 2020. She was 90.
Throughout her life, my mom was the epitome of the giving spirit, endlessly and tirelessly raising her children, being a grandmother, great grandmother, and volunteering herself for the betterment of others. She was born January 9, 1930 in Salt Lake City. After growing up in Malad, Idaho, her father’s hometown, her 2 siblings (Neva and David) and parents (Dave and Minnie) moved to Ogden, Utah where she attended Ogden High School. She was a proud Tiger, doing well in school and participating in the Pep Club and student government. She attended Weber State College for a year, then the University of Utah. She loved music, was a wonderful singer, performing solos and musicals. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. It was at the U where she met Brent Layton whom she later married in the Salt Lake Temple. They divorced after 38 years, had 3 sons, David, Scott, and Brent. The Layton family spent time in Salt Lake, Los Angeles, and Evergreen, Colorado, eventually making our way back to her beloved Utah where she lived out her life. She loved her church, her dear friends, all sports, and was known to bet on most of the televised football games with my brother Dave each Sunday. Mom loved and took good care of her animals, including Snuffy, Oggie, and Smokey.
Peggy dedicated her life to serving others. Mom still holds a special record… the longest serving volunteer in St. Mark’s hospital history. She volunteered for 40 years. Over 12,000 hours of service helping patients and their families at the welcome desk and in the recovery room.
“I loved every minute of my time at St. Mark’s, it changed my life to help people in a time of need.”
Peggy and her older sister Neva had an indescribable bond. They were sisters, best friends, and are eternal soulmates. They celebrated life together, and were there for each other during the difficult times. She also deeply loved Cy, her brother-in-law. Mom is survived by Neva, who I know has a crushed heart right now, but is emboldened and buoyed up by her family and faith. Aunt Neva I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a wonderful sister and lifelong companion to my mom.
“I had a sister that was with me from my first day to the last, someone that I couldn’t do without. She was the perfect child and mentor. She guided me all my life. What would I have done without her??”
Mom was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was deeply religious with a strong belief in God and our Savior Jesus Christ, and a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Despite her convictions, she was accepting of other people’s faith and beliefs.
“Always do good, and love each other. God has a plan, and life is short.”
Her 3 sons were her pride and joy. Her life was spent loving, nurturing, and guiding us to make our lives better. Her love for us was unconditional, and I mean truly unconditional. She taught us right from wrong, trying desperately to keep us in line. When we strayed, which was often, she seemed to understand and do her best to help. She never missed a sporting event of mine! I still to this day find that remarkable. She was the perfect example, always optimistic, kind, and trusting. Hell hath no fury if someone were to criticize or cross one of her sons. Mom suffered unimaginable sorrow with the passing of both my brothers. No parent should have to endure that. She was a breast cancer survivor, and during the last few months, survived what I was taught in medical school was physiologically impossible. Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t be close or touch her for many long months. She did it with unfathomable strength, dignity and grace, never seeking help, sympathy, or complaining. She taught all of us to be strong and persevere.
“You guys go on and enjoy yourself, I’ll be alright.”
Maga was a special grandma. She dearly loved her grandchildren and is survived by them, of which there are 6, Jordan Bielat (Hans), Taylor, Lauren, Ashley, Emily, and Brent. She was in frequent contact with them, always interested in what was going on in their lives. She was blessed with 2 great grandchildren, Charley and Henrik. She dearly loved her daughter-in-law, my wife, Mary Lou. They had a very special relationship, which was strengthened in her latter years by near daily care Mary Lou provided. They had frequent personal and private conversations at the care center while enjoying a Wendy’s frosty and fries (her favorite). My wife has been forever changed by those encounters.
“To my grandchildren, you were my greatest blessings. Know how much I have always loved you all. Don’t grieve for me, but celebrate our lives together. I had a wonderful life. Make good choices and learn from your mistakes. Be good examples for your children and take care of your wonderful bodies. I am so proud of each of you. Laugh a lot and always do your best. Make your life meaningful. Miss me, as I will miss you, but we’ll see each other again, I promise you. All my love, Maga.”
Peggy is survived by her sister (Neva), son (Brent), daughter-in-law (Mary Lou), her grandchildren (Jordan, Taylor, Lauren, Ashley, Brent, and Emily) and great-grandchildren (Charley and Henrik). She was preceded in death by her sons (Dave and Scott), parents (Dave and Minnie), brother (David), brother-in-law (Cy), and many other special family and friends.
A special thanks to all the care team at Spring Gardens in Heber City. Also to Lisa Nelson, her hospice nurse. All of you provided compassionate and professional care to Peggy and we are forever grateful.
For those that would like some entertainment, visit: YouTube Old Bones Skit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khh_c75jdDE)
and see a video of Mom and Neva performing a skit on old age and enjoy a rendition of “Old Bones” at the end (7:18 mark). Mom sang this song at least a thousand times.
Due to restrictions, we’ll be having a crypt-side service for family and close friends at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT. In lieu of flowers, Mom has asked that you smile, be kind, do something unexpected for your neighbor, and cherish your limited time.
I love you Mom. You’ll never know how much you will be missed. Enjoy being reunited with everyone, and tell Scott and Dave I miss them dearly.