Cover photo for Dr. James Nathaniel Layne's Obituary
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Dr. James Nathaniel Layne

May 16, 1926 — June 10, 2017

Dr. James Nathaniel Layne

LAYNE, Dr. James Nathaniel, 91, of Lake Placid, Florida, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his daughters on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Dr. Layne, a US Army Air Force veteran, moved to Lake Placid, Florida in 1967. Dr. Layne was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 16, 1926 - the son of the late Leslie and Harriet (Hausmann) Layne. He married the love of his life, Lois Linderoth, on August 26, 1950. They raised and mentored five daughters and their families together for nearly 66 years until her passing in March of 2016.
Dr. Layne, a retired vertebrate biologist, is survived by his daughters Linda (Allen) Farnsworth, Kimberly (Bert) Crawford, Jamie (Bruce) Stayer, Susan (Ray) Royce, and Rachel (Stuart) Troutman; ten grandchildren James Farnsworth, Glenn Crawford, Sierra, Shane, and Sammy Stayer, Colby and Scout Royce, Samuel, Maxen and Seth Troutman; and two great grandchildren Hayden and Lucas Farnsworth.
Dr. Layne earned both a B.A. (Zoology) and Ph.D. (major Vertebrate Zoology, Mammalogy: minors Botany and Entomology) from Cornell University after his military service. Positions held during his accomplished career included Associate Professor of Zoology, Southern Illinois University; Associate Professor of Zoology and Associate Curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida; Associate Professor of Zoology, Cornell University; Archbold Curator of Mammals, American Museum of Natural History; and Adjunct Professor of Biology, University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University. He also served on numerous, and wide ranging, advisory boards and committees on behalf of both his profession and community on the local, state and federal level.
Dr. Layne came to Lake Placid to work with Richard Archbold as his Director of Research in 1967 at what would later become the Archbold Biological Station, and served in that capacity until he was named the first Executive Director of the newly created Archbold Biological Station in 1976. He served in that role until 1985, and remained at the Station after his retirement from that position as the Senior Research Biologist until 1993, then served as Senior Research Biologist Emeritus until his full retirement several years ago. Not only was Dr. Layne instrumental in the perpetual formalization of the Archbold Biological Station upon the death of Richard Archbold in 1976, but shepherded the organization through several mission expansions and property acquisitions, including the Lake Annie tract and Buck Island Ranch.
His research mainly centered on the field of mammalogy, but also included work on other vertebrates including fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds. His research on the Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, and other Florida birds of prey was an outgrowth of an avid interest in falconry as a boy growing up in Chicago.
In addition to being a well-recognized, and award winning, leader within his profession, Dr. Layne was dedicated to his family, and provided them an environment that has fostered a sense of duty to each other and the world we all share. A private family celebration of life will be held on Sanibel Island, Florida at a later date.
Memorials are requested to either: Archbold Biological Station - 123 Main Drive, Venus, FL 33960 Good Shepherd Hospice - 1110 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33870

Condolences or Life Stories may be expressed in his Guestbook. Morris Funeral Chapel, Sebring, Fl.

Preceded In Death By
Leslie and Harriet (Hausmann) Layne, Parents
Lois Linderoth Layne, Wife

Survived By

Linda (Allen) Farnsworth, Daughter
Kimberly (Bert) Crawford, Daughter
Jamie (Bruce) Stayer, Daughter
Susan (Ray) Royce, Daughter
James Farnsworth, Glenn Crawford, Sierra,
Shane, Sammy Stayer, Colby, Scout Royce
Samuel, Maxen, Seth Troutman
Great Grandchildren
Hayden and Lucas Farnsworth


Place Of Birth: Chicago, IL.
Place Of Death: Lake Placid, FL
Date Of Death: June 10, 2017
A veteran of the United States Air Force


A private family celebration of life
will be held on Sanibel Island, Florida
at a later date.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. James Nathaniel Layne, please visit our flower store.


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