Community remembers longtime Anchorage schools worker Patti Layou, killed in shooting over the weekend
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The shooting death of Anchorage resident Patrice Layou Sunday morning has hit people who worked with her for many years at the Anchorage School District particularly hard.
Layou’s adult son, Thomas, has since been charged with first-and second-degree murder in what police said was a domestic violence incident.
Layou retired from the district in 2017 after working there for 38 years as an executive secretary. Her former colleague and friend Michelle Egan described Layou as the type of person who considered a person a friend from the moment she met them. Someone with a big heart and a huge smile.
“You’ll see photos and all you see is this big white smile and she flashed it all the time,” Egan said. “There are so many people who are devastated because they won’t see that smile again. And for me and many others that’s the really hard part about all this, is because you could feel that smile.”
Egan described her friend as a “people person” who volunteered her time in the community for organizations like Special Olympics and Ushering in the Arts.
“She was willing to do anything for anyone, her whole life was about helping,” Egan said. “You could not go to an event without seeing Patti sitting at a table, registering people or doing something to lift up their day.”
The Anchorage School District released a statement about Layou which said, in part:
“Her commitment to ASD was profound. No matter the role, she always remembered what our business was about: the students. Patti will be remembered by colleagues as someone who was the hub of the team, making everything flow smoothly behind the scenes. Patti was professional, kind, and a friend to everyone. A lot of ASD employees have lost a dear friend.”
Egan said Patti adored her son Thomas and loved him unconditionally despite his struggles with mental illness. Egan said the family still loves him very much but wants people to know they consider the mental health system “broken”. Layou leaves behind her son and her husband, Randy.
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