Obituary - Jace Tyler Layman


Last updated 6/27/2023 at 11:40am

Jace Layman

Jace Tyler Layman, age 20, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2023, due to an undetermined medical emergency while working for the Padlock Ranch in Sheridan County, Wyoming.

Jace was born January 2, 2003, in Missoula, Montana, to his parents Heather and Justin, joining an older sister, Kiley.

Jace was raised in Seeley Lake, Montana, until age 11, when the family moved to Havre, Montana. In 2017, they moved back to Seeley Lake, where Jace graduated from Seeley-Swan High School in June of 2020.

At a young age, Jace enjoyed the outdoors where he developed a love for fly fishing the waters of western Montana, hunting with his dad, and snowmobiling. Jace spent any waking minute he had to tag along on whatever outdoor adventure he could. He also grew up helping his mom and extended family on the guest ranch, working the Bob Marshall backcountry trips and packing mules. He was well noted for his biscuits and Mountain Dew Apple Pie in the dutch oven.

Jace worked for a landscaping business, machine shop, and then for the family ranch guiding folks and packing mules. But as he grew, so did his dreams of being a cowboy working for a cow/calf operation anywhere west. Jace was rarely seen without a rope in his hand, roping anything that stood still.

He took to riding colts, developing horse and livestock skills, and forged a life he loved. He found himself on a feedlot in Terry, Montana, briefly, before moving to Rosebud, Montana, to work for the Whacker family on the Cross 4. From there, he moved to Nevada for a while, staying near Reno, and then on to the King's River Ranch north of Winnemucca, Nevada.

He loved the buckaroo life, and, as a cowboy usually does, he moved again, back to Montana, making more friends along the way. After searching for the right fit, with his dog, borrowed horses, and cowboy gear loaded on the truck, Jace found himself at the Padlock Ranch. Here, he had finally found a place he would enjoy sticking around for a while. Jace worked the last few weeks of his too-short life riding colts, roping, and living his best life right up until the end in the branding pen surrounded by strangers who had become close friends.

Jace was preceded in death by his maternal great-grandparents, C.B. and Helen Rich; grandfather Owen Talkington, and paternal great-grandparents, Elsie and Gene Bartel and John Layman.

He is survived by his mother, Heather (Shane) Countryman; his father, Justin (Mindy) Layman; his sister, Kiley Layman, and her fiancé, Ken Weaver; stepsister, Kerstyn; grandparents Peggy and Ralph Cahoon, grandparents Don and Lois Layman, many uncles, aunts, cousins, and his loyal border collie, Tish.

May Jace's albeit short, but full and well-lived, life carry on us all.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Rich's Montana Guest Ranch in Seeley Lake, Montana, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 2nd, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be set up through Citizen's Alliance Bank in Seeley Lake, Montana, in Jace's name.

Online condolences may be written at

Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.


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