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      High praises for late Edcouch-Elsa 'icon' Benny Layton at visitation

      If judging by the sheer number of people who turned out for Monday evening's public viewing, its clear Benny Layton has touched the lives of many.

      Joseph Campos served alongside the 60-year-old on the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School Board.

      "It's an indication of what he meant to this community... The kind of impact he had on this community," Campos said.

      There was a steady stream of flower deliveries outside the high school gym where the viewing took place.

      One of the arrangements was from the class of '91, according to the attached card.

      District cheerleaders and their coaches held their own flowers for the family as they stood in line to attend the viewing.

      JFK Elementary School Principal Noemi Hernandez said the small tokens are for a man considered by many to be a local legend.

      "He was an icon for our district... You just hear that voice and you think of La Maquina... You think of the Yellow Jackets and Edcouch-Elsa," Hernandez said.

      Layton was killed in a single vehicle motorcycle crash just outside San Antonio over the weekend.

      The sudden lose sent shockwaves through the community.

      "This afternoon we are here to pay our last respects to my brother Benny," Tony Layton said during the viewing.

      With heart-felt messages adorning the gym walls, other relatives, even Donna ISD's Superintendent Roberto Loredo, addressed the bleachers-filled crowd from the podium.

      Each person had their own personal message of how the retired music teacher touched people TMs lives.

      Joe Garza said music was Layton's life and his love.

      He grew up in the same neighborhood as Layton and considered him has a brother.

      "Music...that's what he did all his life... Since he was 5, 6 years old."

      Another visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 5 to 9pm.

      A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 2 pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Elsa.

      It TMs followed by burial at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Weslaco.