First Responders 04

Robert Lay

May 7, 1932 ~ June 8, 2021 (age 89)


Robert W. Lay, 89, passed away June 8, 2021 at his home in Commerce City, Colorado. His memorial service will be held June 18, 2021 at 11 am at Grace Baptist Church, Commerce City, Colorado.

Robert (Bob) was born on May 7, 1932 in Montrose, Colorado.  He was raised in Rico by William and Caroline Lay with his two brothers Gilbert and Richard. His mom and the boys moved to Montrose when Gilbert was ready for high school. His father stayed in Rico and continued to work in the mine for several more years.  He met his soul mate, Joyce A. Miller, during high school. He graduated a few years before her and he left for New York, to run a Dairy Farm with his best friend, Bill Martin.   Joyce graduated, did a semester of college but then she followed him to New York where they soon got married (April 10, 1955) and started their family. They moved back to Colorado in 1957 where they raised their 2 sons and daughter, Earl S. Lay, Randy W. Lay, and Renita S. Henson. 

Bob enjoyed working on race cars, hunting and fishing in his free time.  He was a volunteer firefighter for South Adams County Fire Department, where he later retired.  He and Joyce attended Adams City Baptist Church and then later Grace Baptist Church in Commerce City.

The family Earl Scott (Peggy) Lay, Renita (Larry) Henson and Randy Lay has grown through the years.  There are 5 grandchildren, Amy (Ryan) Broda, Mark (Angela) Lay, Andrew (Kristy) Lay, Brian (Kerry) Lay and Krisandra (Jonathan) Walker.  9 Great Grandchildren and 2 Great-Great Grandchildren.  Bob is preceded in death by his parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and many cousins. 

Bob contracted Rheumatic Fever at the age of six, so he missed a whole year of school. This resulted in the rest of his school years being in the same class as his younger brother, Dick.  He said he was sad that because of the heart murmur he had as a result of the fever, he could never play sports and was relegated to be the water boy.

He worked in a service station when he moved back to Colorado where he and Joyce’s brother started working on race cars. They had so much fun being a part of racing. You could find the family at the race track most Saturday’s. When Randy was in Kindergarten, Joyce agreed to take on the contract for a Rural Star Mail Route. The route served Parker, Franktown, Elizabeth, Kiowa and Elbert. It did not take too long and Bob left the service station and started driving the star route.  He drove this until Scott graduated high school and could take the route over because the fire department had offered Bob the position as their maintenance person.  He was very excited with this offer because it got him back to his mechanical talented area of expertise. He remained in this position until he retired in 1992.

Bob loved being a volunteer fireman. He volunteered for 40 years. It was there he built many friendships and had camaraderie with his fellow firefighters. This was one of the areas that shaped the man he was and it was definitely a favorite place and activity for him. He was proud to be a part of South Adams County Fire Department.

When asked what his favorite thing was / or part of his life was, he responded after several moments of thought, that it was the time he got to spend doing things with his family. He spoke of the one and only large family vacation we took to New York to see the World’s Fair and visiting friends and eating clams and then going back to the dairy to visit Bill and his family. He spoke of times spent up at the cabin. He spoke of time together at holidays over the years.  He loved being with his family and seeing all the new relationships and babies that added to the numbers.

He told stories several times over the years of his hunting adventures with his father-in-law and then in later years the hunting trips with his sons. These stories came up frequently at family gatherings.   He loved fishing and missed it every day. When he could no longer tie the lure onto the line, he was very sad and frustrated. He spoke frequently of wanting to go fishing during his last months.

Attending church with Joyce at Grace Baptist he found new friends and built close relationships.  The church gave him new purpose after he had retired from firefighting.  He was able to contribute and be active and needed. 

He felt his greatest contributions were to be able to save many lives in his time being a firefighter and all that he gave back to his church.  He felt he lived a full and complete life. He loved his family and the Lord.

Bob Lay was an incredible man. Memories of him will live on in the minds of all that knew him.  These words are from his oldest son but felt strongly by all his children and grandchildren:

Services at Grace Baptist Church, Friday, June 18 at 11 am, 7740 CO-2, Commerce City, CO 80022 Reception at the church following the funeral. Bob’s family requests donations in lieu of flowers to be sent to support Grace Baptist Church, mailing address PO Box 127, Commerce City, CO 80037

Dad was a great man. Through our lives he thought us everything we needed to be good adults and how to raise our families and teach our children what they needed to be happy, strong, and kept the tradition going.

No one could replace him.

We all loved him dearly.

Love you Dad, You’re the Best

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Grace Baptist Church
PO Box 127, Commerce City CO 80037

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