He was born near Moorefield, Nebraska, March 1, 1917. The family moved to a sod house some time later, and Wayne always remembered the day his dad and uncle knocked out the sod walls and made it into a wooden, frame house. The family lived in several Nebraska communities during Wayne’s childhood.
After graduating from high school, Wayne attended a business school in Grand Island, Nebraska, for a year. When he left college that spring, in May 1937, he decided to hitchhike to Colorado to visit a cousin. He walked as far as Tie Siding, Wyoming, before getting a ride. The ride happened to be with two Army recruiters who, by the time they got to Colorado, had talked him into enlisting. His first assignment was to the hospital at Fort Logan.
When his enlistment was up, Wayne joined the inactive reserves and returned to Nebraska. But in February 1941 he was called back to active dury. He served in New Guinea and the Philippines, was discharged in 1944, and came home to his wife, Jean, whom he had married shortly before being called back, and their little daughter. But their long separation had created a strain in the marriage, and he and Jean got a divorce. In 1949 he married Virgie Willingham. They bought their house on Dayton Street in Aurora in 1950, and Wayne lived there until he became hospitalized a few years ago. Virgie died in 1989, and Wayne and Jean eventually began dating and were remarried in 1991. Jean died in 2005.
After working at several jobs, Wayne was hired by the Postal Service as a substitute postman in 1955 and later became a full-time employee. He retired in 1976.
Wayne and Virgie first visited our congregation in August 1980, and soon began meeting with us regularly, so his association with us lasted over 30 years. He was a good man and a good friend. May the Lord comfort his bereaved family, including his daughter, Betty Jean Larrow, and her husband Al; stepson Jaye’s widow, Barbara Willingham; granddaughters Roxanne and Tina; granddaughter Joanne Bean and her husband Doug; grandson Bill Willingham, eight great-grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter.