William John Layman, 86, of Warren, died Aug. 4 at his home, with his wife and three sons at his side, after a long struggle with heart disease.

He was born June 24, 1927, in Wakefield, Mass., the son of the late Arthur L. Layman and Marion Spracklin Layman, of Stoneham, Mass.

He married Coral Elaine Keith, of Warren, in 1954, and the couple raised four children: William John Jr., Wendy Jill, Keith Arlyn and Kenneth Douglas.

He lived in Stoneham until 1933, when his family moved to Shirley Mills, Maine. He attended Shirley Elementary School and graduated from Greenville High School. He was a strong player on the football and basketball teams.

Drafted into the armed services during World War II, he served in the Troop 16th Cavalry Quartermaster Squad at Camp Drake in Japan and was honorably discharged in 1947 as a private. He was called into military service again with the Army during the Korean War in 1950, serving with the 561st Engineer Construction Co. at Camp Edwards, Mass. He was honorably discharged in 1952 with the rank of corporal.

During this time, he worked weekends for his Army buddy, George Keith III, in Warren for the Keith family's road building and excavating company. Upon discharge from military service, he returned to Maine.

In between his military assignments, he worked in a local garage in Greenville and also drove a truck hauling pulp. After military service, he traveled to Seattle searching for full-time employment and worked there as a mechanic. He returned to the East Coast when offered a full-time job with George G. Keith & Sons.

For a brief period in 1956, he joined his brother, Arthur, to work on the St. Lawrence Seaway during the construction of Eisenhower Locks and Barnhart Island Power Plant. He returned home to Warren after a few months, continuing to work in the Keith family business.

In 1962, he started his own small company, W.J. Layman and Sons, delivering gravel and then doing welding and fabricating.

He was Alexander Liberman's assistant for about 30 years. He and his sons fabricated, painted and delivered the huge and small Liberman sculptures traveling far and wide to install them in the USA and abroad. He officially retired from W.J. Layman and Sons in 1993, and two of his sons, Keith and Kenneth, carry on the family business.

He was active in the Warren community as a Cub Scout leader, president of the local PTA and a member of the committee to purchase Lindstrom Park. He was a member of the Warren Congregational Church parish hall building committee and volunteered his time and shop for the project during the construction process. He was a member of the Warren church since 1954 and was also a member of Wichita Grange No. 132.

He belonged to the Columbia-Doric Lodge No. 0149 in Greenville for more than 63 years. He took the degrees and became a Shriner.

He loved to travel for pleasure and work, visiting all of the United States except Alaska. He journeyed worldwide to the British Isles, countries in Europe, as well as Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, China and Canada. He accompanied the youth group of Warren Congregational Church when they visited South Africa on a mission trip.

In addition to his wife of 59 years, he is survived by three sons and their families, Bill Jr., of Torrington; Keith and Margaret Layman, and their daughters, Katherine, Kimberly and Megan, of Warren; and Kenneth and Teresa Layman, and their daughter, Karen, of Warren; and a son-in-law, John Pender-Cudlip, formerly of Torrington, and his son, Benjamin, and daughter, Marilla, of Boston. He was predeceased by a daughter, Wendy Jill Layman Pender-Cudlip; two brothers, Arthur Layman Jr. and George Layman; and a sister, Barbara Miller.

Calling hours will be Aug. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Rowe Funeral Home, 283 Torrington Road, Litchfield. A memorial service will take place Aug. 24 at 11 a.m. at the Warren Congregational Church on Sackett Hill Road. Interment will be at the New Warren Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the hospice organization of one's choice.