Layton Reid De Vries


Layton Reid De Vries (1976-2000), God’s blessing of a second son, was born to Leonard and Ruth De Vries in Grinnell, Iowa, a town in central Iowa. His older brother was mentally challenged and Layton later assumed the role of champion and protector for Ryan. The blessing of a younger brother, Laremy, arrived a while later.

Layton attended Sully Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School. In 1999, he graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Choral and Instrumental Elementary and Secondary Music Education. On July 17, 1999, he married Heidi Petersen of St Paul, Minnesota. Their first home was in Prinsburg, Minnesota, where Layton taught band and choir at Central Minnesota Christian Junior High and High School. In August of 1999, he and Heidi moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Heidi began attending Calvin Theological Seminary. Layton was employed at Lansing Christian School where he taught Junior High and High School band and choir.

Sports were a big part of Layton’s life. He was an Iowa Hawkeye fan and loved to watch all kinds of college and pro sports. He was particularly fond of basketball and was very excited about the opportunity he had to be assistant coach to the varsity boys’ basketball team at Lansing Christian School. His passion for life was felt in his love for the game and also in his amazing sense of humor. His life-blood flowed through the twinkle in his eye and through his many different kinds of laughter that echo now through the halls of our memories.

Layton was a dedicated musician and budding composer. He began playing trombone in fifth grade and also loved to play guitar and sing. He was a member of both the Dordt College Concert Choir and Concert Band. Through his years at Dordt College, he grew deeply in his love for the Lord. This spiritual development was based on the firm foundation his parents gave him in the Word of God and also on the years he spent as a Bible Camp attendee and counselor. Layton had a tender heart full of compassion for others and a love which he gave freely and unconditionally to those who found themselves in sweet relationship with him.

God took Layton to Heaven on December 8, 2000 due to complications from a car accident. His death left an immense hole in the lives of those he touched.