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Robert "Bob" L. Layman

December 13, 1933 - April 20, 2018

Bob passed away on April 20, 2018.  He was born in Salem, Oregon on December 13, 1933, to parents Earl and Audrey Layman.  He was raised in Salem until 1943 when he moved to Toledo, Oregon with his parents.  In 1949 he finished his freshman year of high school at Toledo and moved to Detroit, Oregon.  The Detroit dam was being built at that time.  During his summer months of high school, he worked at clearing the basin for Detroit Lake.  After graduating from Detroit High School in 1952 (last graduating class in Old Detroit) he helped his parents move their family business (Cedar Tavern) up to New Detroit.  In the fall of 1952 he went into the United States Air Force.

In 1955 he returned to Detroit and married his high school sweetheart (Berneice Meals) and they set out on an Air Force family adventure.  His daughter (Connie) was born in Victoria, Texas and his son (David) was born in Gambrills, Maryland.  His Air Force career took him and his family to many interesting assignments:  Parks AFB Oakland California (Basic training), Keesler AFT Biloxi, Miss., Clark AFB, Philippines, Kadena AFB Okinawa, Foster AFB Victoria, Texas, March AFB Riverside CA, Ft. Mead Gambrils, MD, Yokahama and Misawa Japan, Iraklion AFB Crete, Greece, Kelly AFB San Antonio, Texas, Korat AFB Thailand and Elmendorf AFB Anchorage, AK.

Bob retired from the Air Force in 1973 and returned to Detroit where he and Berneice bought into the family owned Cedars Restaurant and Lounge.  Bob loved the outdoors, camping, fishing and traveling.  He also had a strong interest in antique and classic cars.  During the early 80s and 90s, their son David joined them at the Cedars so they were able to get away and do some motorhome traveling.  During the 90s and 2000s, Bob and Berneice did a lot of world traveling visiting over 10 countries and all 50 US states.  Much of this was done in the motorhome or cruises.  In 1995, Bob hung up the motorhome keys and started to relocate from Detroit to Mehama.

He sold the Cedars business in 2003 to his son and went into full retirement, giving him plenty of time to travel and return to enjoy his life on the bank of the North Santiam River.

Bob considered his lifetime achievements in this order:  #1 – 20 plus year USAF career from 1952 to 1973.  During this time his family was able to be with or near him for 17 of those years.  #2 – 29 years of owning and operating the Cedars in Detroit.  He so enjoyed managing an iconic business that could be relied upon to be open and serving the community and Hwy 22 travelers.  The Cedars has been in the Layman family since 1949 in old Detroit.  #3 – In 1981, while running the Cedars, Bob and his son (David) built Mountain High Center.  This was a major development for Detroit.  It opened with a bakery (managed by Berneice) and a grocery store.  His daughter Connie purchased and later developed the entire building into a grocery store. #4 – Buying and remodeling the River View Inn in Mehama.  It was closed and out-of-business at that time.  He developed it into his and Berneice’s home on the bank of the beautiful North Santiam River.  What a wonderful location to go through life.  #5 – In 2013, Bob and Berneice bought the iconic Swiss Village Restaurant on Hwy 22 (it was closed and very run down).  He set out to remodel it and develop it into the present North Fork Crossing Restaurant and Lounge.  It was special for him and Berneice to see it open and service the public again.

Bob was a member of the Salem Elks, Mill City Eagles, Salem VFW and Stayton Moose.

He is survived by Berneice, his wife of 60 years; daughter, Connie LaMont and son, David Layman; Granddaughter, Michelle Layman and grandson Oliver Layman.
Services for Bob will be 1:00pm Friday, May 4, 2018 at Virgil T Golden Funeral Service.


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What a great man. So many memories from the Cedars. RIP Bob.  

Dear Berneice, Connie and David ... I was so very sorry to hear this news and my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  The obituary is a lovely tribute ... I learned things I never knew about Bob (Ha! and also realized Berneice, that I have been spelling your name incorrectly all these years!) Of course, this has brought up many memories ... all the times that the Layman and Johnston families spent together in Crete and elsewhere (lots of memories from Crete!) ... and the time we came to visit in Oregon in July and it snowed ... we were so excited!  We shared many fun and happy times together and lots of laughs!  I wish you all the best in the difficult months ahead and I hope that your hearts find some peace within.  RIP Bob ... I have no doubt that you are already laughing with my parents ... and that you were met at the Gates of Heaven by many friends and family!  All my love, Linda

Our prayers and thoughts are with you, Berniece, Connie, and David. Losing your husband and Dad is never easy and we wish for your grief to be filled with all the good memories of Bob. May God hold you and bless you.