We received heartbreaking news that longtime MindsEye weekend board operator Jim Layton passed away on December 14, 2020.

Jim dedicated 33 years to making our weekend broadcast sound great for our listeners. He just recently retired this July, but even when we spoke to him just last month he reminded us to make sure we updated the playlist for the daylight savings time change and advocated for neighbors who were blind to sign up for MindsEye.

Jim was a co-worker, advocate, client, and friend of MindsEye. We cannot express how much he will be missed by all the staff and volunteers who had the fortune to get to know him.

If you have a favorite memory of Jim, please leave a reply below.


  1. 1
    Venita R. House on December 16, 2020

    This one hurts my heart a lot. When I started volunteering at Minds Eye in March, 1992, Jim was already running the show. He trained me to read live on the air, and then (as the format changed) with recording in a booth. As a result, I was able to make myself available for whatever recording format he needed that shift. I can’t remember a Sunday morning that he wasn’t there, with my “duties” for the day. Sometimes he even set up the recording booth for me ahead of time. It was a real honor and privilege volunteering with and getting to know him. I looked forward to my drive over from St. Louis to both volunteer and to talk with him. We talked about any and everything — especially our poor Cubbies. You can imagine the joyful conversation we had in 2016 when they finally won the World Series! Sigh. My deep sympathy to his family and friends. In our occasionally cloudy universe, he was a very shiny, sparking star. He will be missed!

  2. 2
    Melissa Kaegel on December 17, 2020

    I miss him already. My favorite story about Jim (after many weekends and holidays) was when he was excited to be moving to his new place and I am teasing him about being a Cubs fan and he says that he might have to become a Cardinals fan to fit in with the other residents. I told him I was pretty sure he would find another Cubs fan to watch games with but he kept saying he would switch over to be more flexible. It was kind of sweet. I love Minds Eye and I know Jim did too. He always wanted to do the best job possible and I enjoyed working with him. Prayers to his beloved sister and family.

  3. 3
    Carolyn B. Anderson on December 21, 2020

    So sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. He was very helpful to me when I ran into technical issues recording books on the weekend. God bless. Carolyn Anderson

  4. 4
    Scott (Stephanie) Carlisle on December 23, 2020

    I got to know Jim in 2000. First professionally assisting him with JAWS. We then be came long distance friends. We often spoke daily! I talked to him on the 13th. Our last words to one another were “I love you.” Virginia and I will miss our dear friend most gravely.

  5. 5
    Scott (Stephanie) Carlisle on December 24, 2020

    More … Virginia’s and my heart go out to the staff and volunteers and listeners of Minds Eye, and to Jim’s sister Mary too. He spoke of you all to me often over the years and loved you all so much!!

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