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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Engineering alumnus built legacy of caring

By Katie Harrington

If one were to ask the employees of Layton Construction what kind of a person the founder, U alumnus Alan W. Layton, was, they’d all likely answer the same way.

“Alan W. Layton’s No. 1 goal was to take care of his people,” said Alan Rindlisbacher, the company’s spokesman. “Loyalty was his main concern.”

Perhaps that’s why many of Layton’s employees have stayed loyal to his 56-year-old company for the length of their careers. Although he passed away Nov. 8, his family and employees say that his life will be one that lives on in his memory and his work.

“Everyone at this organization has nothing but respect for Alan Layton,” Rindlisbacher said. “He was a great man whose life reflected ideas of honesty and integrity.”

Layton was born Dec. 29, 1917, in Oakley, Idaho. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Kaysville, where he would later attend Davis High School and become a standout athlete in basketball, football, baseball and track.

In 1937, Layton enrolled at the U, where he studied civil engineering and was a member of the basketball team, according to the Layton Construction memorial dedicated to his memory.

In 1941, Layton was called to active duty in the Army when he was just 12 credit hours short of his degree. During World War II, he landed at Utah Beach on D-Day, fought in France as a commanding officer and was seriously injured at the Battle of the Bulge. He returned home as a decorated veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart to his wife, Mona Snelgrove, whom he had married in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 9, 1942.

He worked at the Bureau of Reclamation for four years, until early 1952 when he started his own company. With two employees and $1,600, Layton Construction began.

His first big break came when he was contracted to build 17 offices for City Finance Company along the Wasatch Front and southern Idaho. He also broke into the educational sector when he won the contract for an addition to South Summit High School in Coalville, but Layton, who served three missions for his church throughout his life, considered the crowning achievement of his career to be the construction of the Jordan River Temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was involved in his community, serving on the Great Salt Lake Council, a section of the Boy Scouts of America and the U College of Engineering National Advisory Board, according to a published obituary.

The U honored Layton with the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of Engineering and, in 1999, he was given an honorary master’s of civil engineering degree.

“Alan was very proud when the university honored him with his honorary degree,” Rindlisbacher said. “After all that he had accomplished in his field, being recognized by the university made all that hard work worth it even more.”

Layton is survived by his wife Mona, his nine children, his 58 grandchildren and 83 great-grandchildren.

“While Dad’s presence will be missed, his example will stand for generations to come serving as a constant reminder of the founding values of this organization,” said David Layton, CEO of Layton Construction and son of Alan Layton. “He lived a very long and successful life, leaving behind a legacy of hard work and integrity.”

The Layton Construction memorial published on the company website in Layton’s memory contributed to this article.

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