From his time as a teacher at Addison Trail High School to his tenure as treasurer with the Addison Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Donald J. Layne made himself available to the community.
On Thursday, the Addison community was there for his family.
A number of friends, colleagues and former co-workers attended a memorial service for the longtime educator, who died Sunday at age 83. People lined the rotunda inside village hall for the opportunity to offer their condolences to Layne's wife, Sylvia, and children, Mark and Leslie.
"This kind of says it all," Mark Layne said as the line stretched to the outside of the building. "He was a fixture in the community. He was a pillar in the community."
Donald Layne is being remembered as a former high school principal, football coach and a school board member who loved educating students.
"It was all about the kids," Mark Layne said. "Everything he did during his career and after his career somehow involved doing stuff with kids."
Donald Layne started his teaching career in 1957, before coming to Addison Trail, where he taught physical education and driver's education and served as football coach.
Layne was Addison Trail's assistant principal in 1976 when he interviewed Paul Parpet for a job at the school. Parpet said Layne ended up becoming a mentor, friend and confidant.
"He was outgoing, warm and had a great sense of humor," said Parpet, who served as the school's head football coach from 1981 to 2010. "He was a very caring person."
Layne was named Addison Trail's principal in 1983 and held the position for a decade until he retired.
Retired teacher Bonnie King, who taught at Addison Trail from 1972 to 2000, said it was a great experience working for Layne.
"I will miss his smile, his sense of humor and his sense of fairness," King said. "He was a standup guy and a presence in a lot of people's lives."
After retiring from Addison Trail, Layne became a consultant. In 1995, he was elected to the DuPage High School District 88 board, which oversees Addison Trail and Willowbrook high schools. He served until 2007.
Leslie Layne says her father always was involved in the community. She recalled her family filling sandbags after floods and volunteering during parades.
"We incorporated the community into everything we did," she said.
In addition to being active with the Addison Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Layne was a charter member of the Village Substance Responsibility Commission, Addison Trail's Operation Snowball weekend, and an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Addison.
"Anything that had to do with Addison, Don was a part of it," Parpet said. "His influence on the community was huge. He was Addison."