Carol Layana: A Remarkable Life
June 11, 2015
By Stephen Hadland
Carol Layana passed away this week at the age of 80. When Albert Vera Jr. texted the message to me I wept for over an hour. Carol would not have been pleased. She wanted no fuss over her.
Carol was born in Salinas on May 15, 1935 to Emmett and Louise Malloy. The family later moved to Inglewood where Carol grew up.
She married and moved to Westchester and then to Culver City, the place she called home for more than half a century.
True to her Irish heritage her family wasn't just something, it was everything. As important as Carol's lifeline career in the newspaper business was, it paled against her commitment to her family. Her home was called "Layanaland" where she held annual events especially enjoying her 4th of July get together which started in the morning and ran past the fireworks show in the evening. People came throughout the day with plenty of food and personal warmth for even the latecomers.
When her children were young her home was an afterschool "Mecca" for all the neighborhood kids. Everyone was welcome; everyone was fed food and love.
She worked her way up from the circulation department where she drove her station wagon around town while her kids folded and threw the Culver City Evening Star News each day to the position of General Manager of the newspaper chain.
Since first meeting Carol in 1979 she has always been my most trusted advisor and although semi-retired she served as my Associate Publisher at the Culver City Observer. She was kind and generous always making sure there were appropriate gifts for each child at the annual company Christmas party.
But Carol could be tough in business. She had a non-nonsense approach to running the newspaper and wouldn't hesitate to tell me when she saw things differently that I did. She was like the Good Angel that sat on my right shoulder warning me of the right way to do things and when she thought I was making a "bonehead" move. She was my right hand; I know that now that she is gone.
She was a wiz with numbers making them dance across the page. If I didn't understand them, well Carol sure did.
She always arrived at work before the crack of dawn so she could finish her work and leave in time to catch a ball game of one her kids (nephews and nieces included. In her final weeks she insisted on attending her nephew's baseball game no matter how difficult it was for her to attend.
When her son, Tim played major league baseball for the Cincinnati Reds Carol enjoyed attending the games and was welcomed into the owners suite by Reds' owner Marge Schott. When the Reds won the World Series that year Tim had a World's Series ring fashioned into a necklace which Carol proudly wore to work every day.
She enjoyed traveling, always with a group of family members, to Mexico and Central California. Recently a large contingent of family member accompanied her to her ancestral homeland of Ireland.
Preceded in death by four of her sons, Stephen, Tim, Mike and Matt she showed her stoic side, she kept her tears and grieving inside thinking of being there for her surviving children, Melinda, Nancy, Nick (Sandi) John (Jamie) and the loves of her life her grandchildren Caroline, Nicole, Kelsie, Collin, Gina, Nicholas, Jenna, Amy, Kyle and Carley; great-grandchildren Riley and Emmett. She was preceded in death by her sister Paula and survived by sisters Rosemary, Sheila and Maurya; brothers Tom, John, Mike and Tim along with her Daughter-In-Law Tracey.
As for me I will miss her counsel, her support and her advice. Next time I need some help I reach for the phone I will have to remember she is not there.
I will miss her...more than I can ever express in words.
A memorial service is pending.