When the phone rang on Saturday afternoon during an interview I was doing for the upcoming In The Lead with Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine episode, I ignored the call. When Jody Hamilton of Hamilton Marine Finance—an In The Lead sponsor—popped up on my screen again almost an hour later, I was free and picked up right away.
“Did you see my text?” he asked me. I hadn’t taken my phone out of my pocket since the interview ended, so I told him no.
“Ian is gone man,” long pause. “He’s gone, I don’t know what to do.”
I waited a second, processed what he said and asked with chills running up and down my body, “What happened?”
“Ian died in a motorcycle accident this afternoon,” he replied.
After receiving the devastating news, Hamilton did what any friend would do, he reached out to Layton’s friends and associates, people like me who have gotten to know him during the past two years he’s worked for the finance company that specializes in boats, RVs, aircraft and other purchases. He also started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Layton’s family, which Hamilton considers family.
“My family and I are fundraising to help Ian’s family with finances after this weekend’s tragic accident—we kindly ask for support to help cover their bills, living expenses, and other expenses that may arise,” Hamilton wrote on the fundraising page.
“Ian was the best business partner I could have ever asked for here at Hamilton Marine Finance,” he added. “Ian had an excellent personality and was very much a people person and a social butterfly. At events he would always have a great smile and a great attitude on life, he enjoyed meeting new people and loved building new business relationships and friendships along the way.”
Hamilton said that outside of work, his comrade was very much a family man.
“He was just all around a great guy and I will continue to cherish all the good times we had together,” he said.
Layton’s father, Randy, said that his son loved his family deeply in a Facebook post upon sharing the tragic news.
“Ian leaves behind his beautiful 6-year-old daughter, Rowan, and his amazing girlfriend, Sherry Ponce, along with her children Nathan, Keegan and Sophia, Rowan’s mom, Bethany, his Mom, Mary Keene, his brother, Chaz Layton, and sister-in-law, Caitlin Layton, and their three boys, Landyn, Liam and Levi,” Randy Layton shared. “We are still in shock and trying to piece this all together. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as we adjust to this new reality. We will be having a celebration of Ian’s life in a couple of weeks or so.”
Editor’s note: Click this link to donate to the Ian Layton Family GoFundMe campaign.
Catching Up With Hamilton Marine Finance’s Jody Hamilton