8/20/1915 – 6/4/2013
Wayne was born in Centrahoma, OK on August 20, 1915. The third of nine children, he knew only the hard scrabble life of tenant cotton farmers in West Texas. Dad rose from his dust bowl beginnings through shear perseverance. Working two jobs he put himself through college and graduated from Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX with a degree in petroleum engineering. Soon thereafter, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was a WW II pilot, flying sub-chasing sorties out of South America. He remained in the service after the war, flying everything the Air Force had. He retired from military life after 21 years, but took with him the military discipline and work ethic that would serve him well in his civilian life. In 1955, he and his brother, Bob, purchased a Chevrolet/Olds dealership in Weatherford, OK. A year later, they sold that business and built a Chevrolet dealership in Tujunga, CA. Wayne quickly tired of the L A lifestyle and bought the Taft Chevrolet/Buick dealership in 1959. He knew of Taft from his Air Force training at Gardner Field and wanted the small town life for his family. After some 20 years, he sold the car dealership and began his third career as a cotton farmer southeast of Taft. Wife, Lois, finally got him to retire in his mid-eighties. Wayne loved working, golf and hunting and his home in Taft; but most of all, he loved his family and friends he made in this area. Wayne is survived by his children, Anita and Mark; his eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Lois and by his son, Stephen. Wayne was a man of incredible energy, courage and morality. He was an exemplary father and husband. His life had immense depth, width and of length; a man, whom, if you were lucky enough to know, would never forget. He leaves a huge hole in the fabric of the lives of those who came to love him. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to the ALS Association (Lou Gehrig disease research.) A funeral service will be held in the Erickson & Brown Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday, June 9, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. A committal service will be held on Monday, June 10, 2013, at 10:45 a.m. in the Bakersfield National Cemetery. There are no visitation hours scheduled and the arrangements are under the direction of the Erickson & Brown Funeral Home. To sign and online registry please visit www.EricksonAndBrown.com.