Dr. Jehu Claude Layfield died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at Milford’s Delaware Hospice Center, surrounded by family and lifelong friend Cliff Truitt. God needed a caregiver for his animals with a distinctive personality and chose to relieve Doc from his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Layfield, son of Jack and Charlotte Mae Layfield (nee Pepper) of Dagsboro, was born in Milford Hospital Aug. 19, 1947. He attended John M. Clayton High School (Indian River), graduating class of 1965. He then attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, from 1965-75, majoring in animal and poultry science and graduating as a doctor of veterinary medicine; he was also a member of Omega Tau Sigma veterinary fraternity. In September 1971, he married Anita Layfield (nee Paulson) in Ames.
Dr. Layfield opened the Milford Animal Hospital in 1975. He operated his business for many years, up until two weeks before his death. He attended Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford. Dr. Layfield had been a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary, a member of the Delaware State Board of Trustees of Veterinary Medical Education, a U.S. Merchant Marine officer licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard, a member of the Cayman Veterinary Associates who cared for the animals of Grand Cayman, an owner of the Delaware Dive Center and a NAUI-certified scuba diving instructor.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jehu Timothy Layfield; and his father, Jack Layfield. He is survived by his wife Anita Layfield; mother Charlotte Mae Layfield; two children, Christopher Layfield and Leana Layfield; one granddaughter (whom he raised as a child), Sophia Layfield; an aunt and uncle; a son-in-law; as well as three cousins.
Friends may call between 4:30 and 8 p.m., Friday, Jan, 17, at Avenue United Methodist Church on Church Street in Milford for a viewing. Funeral services will start at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, at Avenue United Methodist Church with a time to visit with family immediately following. A private interment will be at Union Cemetery in Georgetown. Berry Short Funeral Home in Milford is handling arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Companion Animal Fund, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 1600 S. 16th St., Room 1528 LVMC, Ames, IA 50011-1250; Avenue United Methodist Church, or Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963.