Bill Layher

Bill Layher Dr.

July 14, 1950 - March 6, 2019
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Dr. William George ”Bill” Layher, 68, of Pine Bluff, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.Born in Wakefield, Kansas on July 14, 1950 to Paul and Verda Layher, he was raised by grandmother, Eva Moyer. He was the only boy in his graduating class of five from Wakefield High School.
Bill attended Emporia State University on a scholarship, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a teacher’s certificate. He was a teacher and coach in Towanda, KS for nine years, and earned his Master’s degree from Emporia State during that time. The National Science Foundation then sent him to Oklahoma State University, where he completed his Ph.D. in Zoology in 18 months with a 4.0 GPA.He was then hired as Director of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. He was instrumental in writing the Kansas Water law, and published over 100 scientific papers.
Bill loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and trapping, and devoted his life to natural resource and river research/restoration, especially on Bayou Bartholomew. He was an avid birdwatcher, and was a past-president of the Three Rivers Audubon Society.
He was also preceded in death by his older brother, Paul; and two granddaughter, Adele Lucy Andrus and Eleanor Honoria Andrus.Survivors include his wife, April; children: Kimberly Ruff (Blake) and Kristopher Layher; stepchildren: Isaac Ralston (Danielle), Aria Andrus (Eddie), Hayley Crandall (Grant),and Nate Ralston (Chris); a niece, Cathy Layher; six foster daughters, Gwendelin Bailey Boateng, Georgia Bailey, Marian Bailey Brusco, Josephine Bailey Bills, Martina Bailey, and Emmanuela Bailey; and grandchildren, Malcolm Crandall, Pynelopy Crandall, Cyndyll Crandall, Trystynn Crandall, Potter Crandall, Elijah Andrus, Agnes Andrus, Jacob Ralston, Erica Ralston, Mikayla Ralston, Taylor Ralston, Evelynn Ralston, Raedin Ralston, Afton Ralston, Eowynn Ralston, Lilly Ruff, Layla Ruff, Daniel Boateng, Gabriel Boateng, Madelyn Boateng, Zhara Bills, Zola Bills, Abigail Brusco, and Isabel Brusco.
A memorial service was held Saturday, March 9, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2501 Ridgway Road, Pine Bluff, AR 71603.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, March 9, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, March 9, 2019 11:00am
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
    2501 Ridgway Road
    Pine Bluff, AR 71601
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Shannon Weatherly

Posted at 12:00am
Dr. Layher was a motivational educator. I took his Biology class at Southeast Arkansas College as a prerequisite for Registered Nursing. He made learning interesting! I am sorry for the family’s loss. Prayers for comfort. He touched many a student’s life and always challenged us to strive for excellence.

Tom Mosher

Posted at 12:00am
Sorry to hear about Bill. I worked with him when he was a summer aide with KS Fish & Game through his days as head of the Environmental Services Section and always enjoyed his wit and companionship. He was one of those very likeable people.

Bill Bergmeier

Posted at 12:00am
Sorry for your loss.

Jeffrey Quinn

Posted at 12:00am
Peace be with you. My condolences to April Layher and family. Bill was a warm, generous, and loving person with a great sense of humor. He was a great friend and mentor. I enjoyed working with him and he taught me a lot. Bill was dedicated to the understanding and conservation of natural ecosystems and especially natural rivers. His legacy of conservation endures. My prayers are with the family. Sincerely, Jeff Quinn

LaDonna Rogers

Posted at 12:00am
Dr Layher was an amazing teacher. I recommend his class to anyone that needed A&P because he was the best. He will be missed.

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