HOOPESTON – Thomas John Layden, 91, of Hoopeston passed away at 12:45 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 3, 2012) at his daughter's home in Fair Play, S.C.
He was born Jan. 19, 1921, in Cheneyville, the son of Edward and Cornelius (Fitzgerald) Layden.
Mr. Layden graduated from Rossville High School and attended St. Joseph's University in Rensselaer, Ind., and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.
At a simple bridge game, he met his future bride, Bernice Mary "Bunnie" Brickner. They were united in marriage on June 17, 1944, in Burlington, Wis., and were married for 65 years. The two of them raised seven children and farmed in the Hoopeston area all their lives.
He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Hoopeston and an active member of the 4th degree of the Knights of Columbus in Danville. His family was the center of his life, especially his grandchildren.
He and his wife enjoyed several trips to Europe, one to Hong Kong and Thailand, Costa Rica, Nova Scotia, the Bahamas and to Ireland several times. The most rewarding was receiving a blessing for their 60th wedding anniversary in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy.
Tom never really retired ... there was always one more sale to attend.
Tom is survived by four daughters, Mary Beth (Darvin) Taylor of Bloomington, Jane (Tom) Sweeney of Hoopeston, Susie (Jon) Fobes of Naples, Fla., and Peggy (John) North of Fair Play, S.C.; and three sons, Dan (Libby) Layden of Baltimore, Md., Tim (Karen) Layden of Medinah and Steve (Kathy) Layden of Oakwood. He is also survived by three sisters and two brothers.
He was Papa Tom to 17 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two more great-grandchildren on the way: Michael Layden and son Jake of New York, N.Y., Thomas (Lindy) Layden and sons Owen and Ian of Baltimore, Md., Pamela Layden of Medinah, Kimberly Layden of Medinah, Matthew Layden and daughter Yelka of Oakwood, Abby Pettit and her children Raenen, Oliver, Tad and Ave of Oakwood, Brian (Mandy) Wiltz and their children Payton, Preston, Micah and Macy Jo of Lexington, David Wiltz of Bloomington, Kevin (Nicole) Wiltz and their children Anna and Laia of Bloomington, Megan (David) Penfold and daughter Aubrianna of Windsor, Colo., Nathan (Bob) Sweeney of Baltimore, Md., Margaret (Paul) Hart of Nashville, Tenn., Deidre Sweeney of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Eric (Amanda) Fobes and their children Layden and Lucy of Kansas City, Kan., Ellen Fobes of New York, N.Y., Hayley (Justin) Jett of Covington, Ky., and Dylan North of Columbia, S.C.
He was Uncle Tom to many nieces and nephews and Cousin Tom to several cousins. Tom never met a stranger!
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bernice;, his parents; one sister, Mary Ellen; and one brother, Paul.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Anderson Funeral Home, 427 E. Main St., Hoopeston. A rosary service will be held at 7:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Anderson Funeral Home.
Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 423 S. 3rd St., Hoopeston, with Father Chris Layden and Father Patrick O'Neal officiating.
Memorials may be made to the Rossville Historical Society, 108 W. Attica St., Rossville, IL 60963 or the Danville Knights of Columbus, 310 Bryan Ave., Danville, IL 61832.
Visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com  to view Tom's online tribute page and to send the family condolences.