Cleo Ann Layton passed away peacefully just 12 days shy of her 94th birthday.
Cleo was born in Mukilteo on April 28, 1926, to Joseph and Martha Layton, the sixth of eight children. When she was 3, her family moved to a homestead in Pleasant Valley near Okanogan, Washington.
Cleo graduated from Okanogan High School and became a modern working woman long before it was common. She married, had four children, and continued to work at many different jobs. Her favorite (and that of her kids) was being a fire lookout for the Department of Natural Resources. She spent several summers at various lookout towers in Okanogan County.
Cleo loved to hunt, fish, hike and travel. She canoed the Yukon River, rode a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, fished in Alaska and camped in too many places to count. She could still outhike her kids even into her 70s. She was also an accomplished bowler, winning many trophies through the years.
In 1993 Cleo moved to Whatcom County to be near her daughter’s family. She then became active in numerous bands and singing groups that traveled around the county and state, entertaining many.
Cleo was predeceased by her parents; brothers Lawrence and Herbert; and sisters Viola (Sister Margaret Therese), Lucile, Genevieve and Lenit.
She is survived by brother Urban Layton; children Thomas, Steven (Kathy), James Rappe’ and Karen (Jim) Miller; grandchildren Ann, Julie, Jackie, Jason and Barbara; great-grandchildren Christopher, Trevor, Madison, Kaylee, Kelsie, Michael, Austin, McKenzie, Cameron, Kiara, Kamina and Alexandria; and great-great-grandchild Paislee.
A private graveside service will be held at Okanogan Valley Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church of Lynden, or the family would ask that friends and family members go hiking, catch a fish, paddle a canoe, sing a song or plant a tree and think of Cleo.
Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.