Albert Layman (1940-2016)
Former Minnesota Division president Al Layman passed away earlier this year. In April, Austin Ikes and friends along with Al’s family had a celebration of his life.
The celebration was uplifting in many ways and inspiring in its expressions of appreciation and love for a fine life. Some folks who spoke made it clear that Al, in his quiet way, was a difference maker in their lives. Al was a businessman for many years in the Austin area and also worked in the Minnesota state legislature as a committee administrator and researcher. In that later role, he was recognized for his fairness, professionalism, and for being patient and courteous with everyone, regardless of the issue at hand or Al’s opinion on the matter.
Al was as dedicated and well-liked as any Ike I’ve ever known. His daughter Kris shared a "letter to self" that Al wrote after attending his first Izaak Walton League Illinois Division meeting way back in 1962.
What struck me about Al’s "letter to self" is how earnest was his desire to serve, his commitment, his humility, and his seriousness. That is the way Al was. That is why so many of us wanted to be his friend and work with him.
I feel that my friend Al Layman left in this simple "prayer to serve" a profile that is pretty darned good instruction for all of us.
Dave Zentner, IWLA national director and former national president
Today is my first real step into the Izaak Walton League of America. Bill Williams and I went to the Dixie Governor Motel outside of Chicago for the 1962 State Convention. I met Bill Ber ry, Ken Smith, Elton Falks (nominated president), and last but not least, Deacon.
I was introduced to so many fine people (I can’t remember names, which is one thing I will have to work on). It surprised me how welcome ever yone made me feel.
I don’t feel, at this time, that I am qualified or have enough knowledge on conservation to be benef icial as yet to the League in that way.
At this time my goal in life is to be a leader working towards the ideals the League stands for. I will make sacrifices in order to fulfill my ultimate goal.
I plan this year to achieve the following:
1. Do more than my part to increase membership in the Chicago #1 C h a p t er.
2. Do all possible to raise our chapter to back the League’s work on the insecticide, pesticide, and herbicide program.
3. Spend ALL available time reading (studying) variou s books and literature in order to acquire a substantial backg round in conservation. That word "conservation" is a mighty big word and it is going to take a lot of big changes of my habits in order to learn exactly what conservation is. I pray that I be given a little extra boost in order to accomplish my goal.
4. My hopes are that I become drawn into conservation and last, if but far from least, I pray that I can achieve proper study habits and apply myself, which I have never done before – except maybe for bass fishing and my love for the out of doors which God gave u s.
— Al Layman