The tragic end to Layton’s life

Less than a week after the brutal death of Layton Montpellier in Edmonton, the funeral service to lay his body to rest was held in Falher last Friday.
Over 600 people packed into Ste. Anne Roman Catholic Church and heard eulogies about the 22-year-old son of Paul and Nellie Montpellier.
“It’s impossible to understand the tragedy,” began Layton’s best friend Terrence Dumont.
“Layton was the best at whatever he did. He was always the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. Being successful in life is what drove him everyday.”
Terrance spent Halloween with Layton.
“A couple of weeks ago he said it’s almost time to make real money. I said, ‘You bet. If anybody deserves it, you do.’”
Next spoke Layton’s cousin Trudy Wild.
“He was a cute kid who liked ketchup. Heinz ketchup,” she said with a smile. “And he would cry when he would lose at cards.”
What Trudy remembers most about the adult version of her cousin was his character.
“Layton always asked, ‘How are you doing?’ He was a very tall guy but he never looked down on anyone.”
She said it was tradition to spend Christmas with their grandmother at his aunt Carol’s in Kinuso.
“This Christmas, we will have a new tradition. To talk about the great memories of Layton.”
Then Lane went up and spoke of his younger sibling as hardworking and perfectionist.
“He always told it like it was, but was sensitive to other people’s feelings.”
Lane said Layton was polite and humorous.
“He was a teaser. He pushed mom to the brink many times. I don’t honestly remember Layton having a bad day.”
Lane said his brother regularly phoned their mother.
“Layton would call her every Sunday night religiously to talk to her.”
Lane thought of what Layton would’ve wanted.
“He’d want to be remembered as a caring, joking kid.”
Layton’s girlfriend Dawni Hopkins read what she had written down to say.
“One week ago I was the luckiest girl in the world. Now my best friend is gone.”
She said he was everybody’s friend, recounting times they would go shopping.
“He’d strike up a conversation with the teller. ‘Is it busy here today? Do you like working here?’ And by the time we had left he had a new friend.”
She spoke of his sense of humour.
Once his parents let him run their store in Falher for a week.
“I would call him and he would act all important and say, ‘Hi, you’ve reached the manager of True Value.’”
She told stories about his love of his mom, hockey, strangers and her.
“The memories are not what make me the most sad,” she said. “It’s the plans that we made for the future.”
They had planned to go shopping, to watch Harry Potter, to go skating down by the river as soon as the ice froze, to go skiing in Jasper during reading week, to get a dog, to send their parents on a trip, to travel.
“We had planned on having a huge wedding in Falher,” she smiled, “and Layton wanted to have a free bar.”
She said she was a better person for having known him.
Afterwards his younger brother Les spoke.
Les was visiting Layton for that weekend in Edmonton. The next day Layton, who was to graduate this year in chemical engineering, was going to help Les with his college studies.
That Friday night during dinner conversation Les remarked, “The biggest risk in life is not taking it, eh?”
To which Layton responded, ‘You know you have to keep at it. The world may be coming down, but stick at it.’
Les said it was the last advice his brother ever gave.
A number of others spoke of their impressions of the young man.
His girlfriend’s mother, Mary Helen Hopkins of Tangent, said he related well to everyone.
“I never felt like an older person, just as his friend.”
She spoke of him swimming with sea turtles in Mexico.
Someone said Layton never seemed to get angry and another said he once got angry after he was benched during a hockey game. Many said he called Falher home.
His classmate Cheyenne Kean spoke of one of the little things that make a big difference.
In early grade school she worked hard to outperform him in a public speaking event. Then as she went smugly to her chair, he surprised her.
“He put a hand on my back and said, ‘That was a really good job.’”
Today she has a career in public speaking.
A tune played several times during the service was from Layton’s favourite band Nickelback, called “How you remind me.”
And Dawni chose to have played the recent pop tune “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias.
“He wouldn’t have liked it too much,” she said after the service. “He’s a headbanger.”
She had spoken during the service of how he would react to music when they went to a bar.
“We would be two-stepping and Layton would break away and start headbanging.”
He will be remembered.

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