Born 12/12/1933 – At peace 11/14/2018 (84 years young)
He was born in Milwaukee. His mom and dad (Lucy and Hilla) came from larger families, not uncommon then. Lucy had 5 siblings and Hilla had 10 siblings. Plenty of kid support amongst all the Aunts and Uncles families to nurture Wayne and his little sister Cheryl through life.
Hilla’s brothers and sisters were full of life and song which can be attributed to Wayne’s love of song and singing as he grew. He was thick as thieves with them throughout their lives.
Wayne had a typical midwestern upbringing, played sports and even raced in a few local soap box derbies. He graduated from South Division HS and soon after partnered with his buddies to enlist in the Army. He attended basic training at Camp Atterbury in Indiana and was later stationed out of Fort Carson, Colorado. His time in service went from 1953 through 1956. While stationed there he met the love of his life Patricia and they exchanged vows in 1955. The beginning of a journey into life and love lasting 63 years.
Upon returning to Milwaukee after the Army they found residence with his Aunt Delores in her family’s duplex. The Woelkerling’s (Herman, Delores, Billy & Tommy) would share life for 16 years until Wayne purchased a home in 1972. Over those 16 years Wayne and family formed a special bond with them and especially Tommy which lasts to this day. That relationship has endured time and distance with good humor and care for each other as time matured.
Wayne also established a career in the finance industry that would span 30 plus years beginning with City Loan, Seaboard, Avco Financial and finally with Ford. He learned a wealth of knowledge about people in his career but in his words, the most important was learning to accept people for who they were.
On the fun side of life, Wayne played softball for a while and eventually joined a bowling league during the winter as did most Milwaukeean’s. His Dad (Hilla) was good enough to be submitted to the Milwaukee Bowling Hall of Fame as well as his sister Cheryl’s son (Jason) who also entered the Hall of Fame just a few short years ago. Over the 40 years he bowled he met many lifelong friends and also developed a love of playing cards, sheepshead (with the family) and poker (with the friends).
Wayne & Pats son Ken married and had two children (Colleen and Andy) that they loved to spoil as grandparents often do. He carried a special pride for Andy who became a Marine and a big soft spot in his heart for Colleen who shared his love for music. He and Colleen always parted ways with a simple old school quip… “Love you G Pa a bushel and a peck” and he’d respond “with a hug around the neck.”
Dad simply enjoyed life and any reason that arose to share time with his friends and family, a few Manhattans and a good meal.