For the second time, the community of Escalon will pay respects to a member of the Layton family with an Honor Guard escort from Deegan Funeral Chapel to Burwood Cemetery.
Friends and family were reeling over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend with the news that Brent Layton, 47, passed away unexpectedly while attending a Gold Star Family event in Colorado. He lost his son, James Ray ‘Doc’ Layton – killed in action in Afghanistan – in 2009 and since then had been active in many Gold Star events around the country and was a dedicated advocate for returning veterans and helping them get the services they needed and deserved.
“Not the phone call I was expecting,” Escalon Fire Chief Rick Mello said of getting the news.
The fire department adopted Layton as “one of our own,” Mello said, after his son gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this country. ‘Doc’ was a Navy corpsman and died while tending to the wounds of fellow soldiers. He also had an Honor Guard procession.
Brent Layton’s body arrived at the Sacramento International Airport from Colorado on Monday, June 1 and a contingent of emergency services personnel from Escalon met the procession at Highway 120 and Jack Tone Road on Monday evening. Escalon Fire Department, Escalon Community Ambulance, Escalon Police Department and the Patriot Guard were all included, accompanying the body back to Escalon.
“The services will be graveside at Burwood Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Thursday (June 4) and we will have a procession from Deegan’s to the cemetery,” Escalon Fire Department Battalion Chief Terry Pinheiro added.
The same groups that escorted Layton’s body in to Escalon on Monday night will lead the way to the cemetery on Thursday.
A longtime resident of the Escalon area, Layton previously served as a deputy sheriff in Kern County and in Arizona and was a one-time Escalon Police Department officer.