Benjamin "Darrell" Layfield, USAF (Ret.), a man whose life eloquently exemplified duty, community, and family, passed away on Monday, August 14, 2023.
Born on August 9, 1945, in Sylvester, Georgia, Darrell was the son of the late Benjamin Clayton and Inez Dorminey Layfield. His roots were established in the close-knit neighborhood of Payne City, where he began his journey through a life rich in service, friendship, and love.
Following his graduation from Willingham High School in Macon, Darrell’s unwavering commitment and eagerness to serve his country led him to the United States Air Force. There, he stood resolute as a Special Operations Ranger during the harrowing days of the Vietnam War, embodying the true spirit of patriotism. The ideals he safeguarded on those battlefields would remain steadfast companions throughout his life’s journey.
Darrell's quest for excellence found expression through his educational pursuits. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Georgia Southwestern State University and further honed his acumen with a master's degree from Georgia College. Armed with this knowledge, he embarked on a distinguished career spanning 30 years at Robins Air Force Base, culminating in his role as the Deputy Director of Systems. His devotion was equally extended to the United States Air Force Reserve, where his additional 23 years of service included notable achievements such as a deployment in support of Operation Desert Storm. He retired from this chapter of service as a Major. Darrell's lifelong commitment to the well-being of veterans and his community saw him become a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (V.F.W.), where he continued to serve emboldened by camaraderie and advocacy on behalf of all veterans.
While his military achievements were extraordinary, Darrell's legacy extended beyond the uniform. His presence was deeply etched into the fabric of his community, with his faith anchoring him as a member of Central Baptist Church and a dedicated member of the greeter team. Friendships flourished on the greens and fairways of various golf clubs, including the esteemed Houston Lake Country Club. Notably, he held the position of past president of the Perry Country Club, a testament to his leadership and fervor for the sport. This passion for golf, shared with his two sons and son-in-law, transcended recreation; it became a vivid expression of his zest for life. In 2021, Darrell and his son Chad celebrated a remarkable victory, winning a member-guest golf tournament – a cherished triumph within Darrell's golfing journey.
Yet amidst these remarkable achievements, Darrell's most profound role was that of a devoted family man. His enduring love for his wife Lynne, celebrated over 37 years of marriage, formed the bedrock of his existence. Together, they reveled in life's adventures, from exhilarating cruises to treasured shopping escapades, and the delightful pursuit of hat-finding expeditions. Concerts, bowling, and theatrical performances further enriched their shared experiences. Additionally, there was the heartwarming tradition of going to the movies with his daughter, Allison, followed by another cherished ritual of grabbing a milkshake. However, among all accomplishments, Darrell held the cherished title of "Granddaddy" and "Grandpa" in the highest regards - roles he embraced with boundless joy. Darrell's heart also held a special place for Daytona Beach, a locale brimming with cherished memories nurtured over nearly four decades.
His legacy transcends his military service and professional achievements. It resonates in the love he lavished upon his wife and children, the boundless joy he found in the presence of his grandchildren, and the generosity, kindness, and unwavering care he showered upon friends, fellow veterans, and his community.
As we bid farewell to Benjamin "Darrell" Layfield, let us honor his memory as a man of indomitable duty, a beacon of community engagement, and a pillar of familial devotion. He leaves behind a rich tapestry of memories, woven into the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him.
In addition to his parents, Darrell was preceded in death by his sister, Lana Cheryl Layfield Smith; parents-in-law, Thomas Wesley Conner, Sr., and Eva Alice Mims Conner and brothers-in-law, Rhett Smith and Thomas Wesley Conner, Jr.
His memory will forever be treasured by his beloved wife of 37 years, Lynne Conner Layfield of Warner Robins; children, Clay Layfield (Amy) of Eastman; Chad Layfield (Felicia) of Kathleen; and Allison Lynne Layfield White (Sean) of Carthage, North Carolina; as well as adored grandchildren, Joy Layfield of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Noel Layfield of Eastman; Savannah Layfield of Kathleen; Clayton Layfield of Eastman; Benjamin White of Carthage, North Carolina; and Emma Lynne White of Carthage, North Carolina.
Visitation will be Friday, August 18, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at McCullough Funeral Home. A funeral service will immediately follow at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of McCullough Funeral Home. Afterward, Benjamin “Darrell” Layfield, USAF (Ret.) will be laid to rest in Glen Haven Memorial Gardens with Full Military Honors.
The family will accept flowers or donations may be given in memory of Benjamin “Darrell” Layfield, USAF (Ret.) to Central Baptist Church, 1120 Lake Joy Road, Warner Robins, Georgia 31088: or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas, 66675.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Benjamin “Darrell” Layfield, Usaf (Ret.), please visit our flower store.
Friday, August 18, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
McCullough Funeral Home
Friday, August 18, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Chapel of McCullough Funeral Home