|Birth: ||Aug. 24, 1953|
Los Angeles County
|Death: ||Sep. 28, 2012|
Thank you to all who happen to pass by and leave a token for sweet Wayne.
Please take the time to read both Eulogies as they will truly touch your heart and very soul, Thank you
♥This song is dedicated to Wayne by his wife♥
♫ I'll See You Again by Westlife ♫
~ Eulogy written by Geoff Holcomb ~
Wayne Dale Burgess was born into this world on August 23, 1953 in Inglewood, California to parents Everett and Audrey Burgess. Wayne was the youngest of 5 brothers: Chuck, Benjamin, Danny, and Gary. He survived growing up in the Los Angeles area, helping with his father's business while going to school. He graduated from Reseda High School in 1971.
Wayne was my friend. When I would call him, he would always answer: (thanks to the modern wonders of caller ID)
"Hi Jim Burke Ford. Whacha doin? Are you working hard, or hardly working?"
And our conversation would begin. It would always be a conversation full of wit, sarcasm, and feel good expressions of friendship.
It seems like only yesterday, I was in Albertson's and I heard that familiar voice: "Hey Big Geoff…"
And I replied: "How'd you get here?"
His response: "I walked; I wanted a Coke".
He loved his Coca Cola. Not Pepsi, not Royal Crown Cola, but Coke…and Vanilla Coke.
He had his passions, the things he loved:
He loved Deborah, his wife of 20 years, and oh, did she love him back.
He loved his children. Not only Satiah, but also his shared children, Tarra, Vanessa, and Geoffrey. He provided and loved without favoritism, guiding, nourishing, nurturing and loving them into adulthood.
His affection for his grand children showed through with the loving nick names for them:
Munch for Mikayla
Haiden was Haiden
Yet Reese was Reecee pieces
Calie was Calie Bird
And Autumn was Cuddle bug
And these grand children loved him right back; they climbed all over him, played with him and adored him. A couple of nights ago, Calie asked when she could go see "Papa Wayne" again. The innocence of youth hadn't yet made her understand the reality of death. I wish life could be this innocent forever.
Wayne had that simple innocence about him. He liked simple things, like science fiction movies, Disneyland, and animals.
He and Deborah would go to Disneyland at the drop of a hat. They would get season tickets, just so they could go and hang out there. Maybe just to watch people. Or maybe, just maybe, to quack at a duck. This is an example of his presence with animals.
As he sat on a bench at Disneyland, a duck waddled up to him, and quacks. What does Wayne do? He quacks back. As the story goes, this conversation went on for several minutes, while onlookers and passerby's looked on and laughed. You know the cliché: If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably talking to Wayne
His favorite Disney character, and possibly favorite character period, was Tigger. T I double Guh er. Tigger. Wayne had Tigger T shirts, Tigger coffee cups`. Anything Tigger. His email address included Tigger. And Wayne was likely to quote Tigger by saying "Ta ta, for now" when you were leaving his company.
He always had his pets. All through his life. In his younger years, he had Cocker Spaniels. He would be overjoyed when the liter bore one in a color he called Party. Since I've known him he's had Olivia, (cat), Happy and Speckles, (dogs) and here towards the end, Sugarbaby. I will say I admire Wayne's unselfishness for making sure Sugarbaby would be taken care of, as he knew what his future held.
Science Fiction…,Sci-Fi as Wayne called it. He could watch the Sci-Fi channel all day, and all night; or Sci-Fi movies. It didn't matter to him. He loved it; and he watched it.
He was tagged to babysit his nephew Jeff, when Jeff was at a tender age. Wayne was asked NOT to let Jeff watch anything scary, or anything that might give him nightmares. But as soon as the parents left, out came the Sci-Fi movies for a whole bunch of fun. And, I am told, Jeff still enjoys, and watches Sci-Fi to this day.
Wayne loved to sing. Whether it was rock and roll, soul, or country from the 50's, 60's or 70's. As a teenager, Wayne sang with the Church choir, and would be picked to sing solos, a tradition that continued into adulthood at Columbus Baptist Church.
His Angelic voice will be at home in Heaven, singing praises to God with the other Angels. I doubt that his favorite radio station, K-Earth 101 is available in Heaven for him to listen to. With his splendid memory, he could remember the words to all those great songs, and sing them acapella. I know that whenever he traveled through Los Angeles, he would commandeer the radio, tune to 101 K-Earth, and enjoy his favorite music.
He met his lifelong friend Bobby Brown while in school. Thank you, Bobby for being there with Wayne to the end of his journey.
I am told that when a young Wayne wasn't surfing at those beautiful LA beaches, he would go after your girlfriends? Have you ever forgiven him for this?
Wayne worked for Northrop-Grumman. Here he helped build, mill, and assemble F-18 fighters for the Air Force. He always talked with pride about those days and those planes. If I ever had a question about a plane, Wayne was the person I would ask.
As with assembling Fighter Jets, Wayne was good at working with his hands. He could do just about anything with them. He showed me an extravagant Koi pond at his home one time. I asked who built and installed it. He looked at me with a hurt expression on his face, and said "I made this". It was a gorgeous pond, complete with lily pads and great big gold fish.
He liked to go, (what I call) dumpster diving. He would show me the treasures that he would find discarded here and there, near his home. He would find something like a broken down desk, or lamp, or dresser, and then refinish it to a rich luster. He was an artist in renewing these items. A lamp he found wasn't re-spray painted…no, he "whisped" the paint onto it, so it looked both new and yet antiqued. Some of these dumpster dive treasures made it into his and Deborah's home. I have to say, if he would not have told me the story behind these pieces I would have thought he paid a ton of money for them from some fancy home interior gallery.
My parents were good judges of a person's character and Wayne's big heart was kind enough to help them too. As my Dad got to the age where he couldn't do something by himself, he would call Wayne. I stopped by to visit them years ago, and noticed a new microwave mounted above the stove. When I asked my Dad if he had any trouble getting it up there his response: "Nope; Wayne installed it." I thank you for helping them, my friend.
Wayne was certainly a "Jack of all trades, master of none"
I didn't fully understand this quote, so I googled it and this is the definition I found:
"Jack of all trades, master of none" is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills yet not necessarily schooled or trained in any one."
Plumbing; he could do it...
Auto work, and detailing; he could do it...
Painting, whether staining furniture, or color coordinating his home's walls; he could do it...
Growing vegetables; he could do it...
He had a green thumb. I visited him about two years ago, and he showed me a vegetable garden he planted and maintained for the entire community where he lived. Each row was meticulously furrowed in a perfect line. The vegetable seed packets were proudly displayed on popsicle sticks at the beginning of the laser straight rows.
Of course, my question was: "Why?"
His response was simple. He wanted to. His big heart wanted to share with his many friends who lived around him, (he never had an enemy)
This was just how Wayne was. He was a people person. People, whether it be teens, or even the little ones at his church, were drawn to him; to talk, be welcomed, and listen to what he had to say. He was full of wisdom, and enjoyed having people around him.
He also had a comical, practical jokester streak in him.
I casually mentioned to him one time that Vikki and I traveled to Magic Mountain and like the Griswold's in the original Vacation Movie, the park was closed. Since they were closed, we drove home. Imagine our surprise when we wake up one cold December morning to discover a HUGE banner that Wayne, Deborah and the kids made proclaiming: "Merry Christmas from the Griswold's!" If he could brighten someone else's day, he certainly would with that big, happy smile on his face.
He loved to cut up in front of the camera. This is evidenced by many of the pictures of him posted on Face book.
Speaking of cameras, Wayne loved photography. This was his hobby, and he even ventured into it as a professional. He lent himself to weddings, family reunions, or anywhere or anytime memories needed recorded in pictures. Even school pictures of children. Another of his many talents.
His sense of humor even went with this hobby. He and Vikki would have long, fun conversations debating which camera was better, with Wayne arguing the merits of Nikon, and Vikki singing the praises of Canon. This topic was always front and center when they would first see one another, gently ribbing each other in love and friendship about which camera was better.
Wayne also delighted in cooking. In fact, he should have been a chef with his own restaurant. His food preparation was that good. His pasta salad was so delicious, and he would always share some with Vikki and me.
Every night he would have dinner waiting for his love, Deborah. This was how he made her life easier. When I would talk to him in the afternoon, he would sometimes finish the conversation early by telling me it was time to make dinner, or barbecue for Deborah.
He loved and devoted himself to his soul mate, Deborah. When I saw him that last time at Albertson's, he was also buying some items for her so she wouldn't have to stop at the store coming home from work during the busy time of the day.
Deborah repaid his love with a devotion that is unequalled and unparalleled. As Wayne's illness progressed, she was there every day for over three months, while still maintaining her full time job. She was there next to him, holding his hand and comforting him as only a wife could. Every day, from the moment he went to the hospital.
She would be there in the morning, before work at his side. She would be there next to him on her lunch hour. Then she would return after work to stay for a few more hours. She made sure the Doctor's were treating his illness properly, and the facility's nurses were properly medicating him.
She sat by him, and lay next to him. She talked to him, and sang to him. She also made sure his birthday was celebrated. Even as this terrible disease took him farther and farther away, she was there as close as she could be. Her devotion never wavered!
Wayne's soul left us on September 28, 2012, and went home to Heaven. He leaves behind Deborah, his wife of 20 years; children Satiah, and husband Doug Swedensky of Indiana; Tarra Huffman-Smith, and husband Vincent Smith of Bakersfield; Vanessa, and husband Adam Tondreau of Pine Mountain Club; and Geoffrey and wife Misty Holcomb of Bakersfield. Grandchildren Mikayla, Haiden and Maurice Tondreau; Calie and Autumn Holcomb; and Treyvon Smith.
Everyone who knew and loved Wayne shares a huge void in their life. Wayne will be dearly missed by all.
Wayne, my friend; while you are rejoicing in pain free, eternal Heaven, I will be here, (as you would say), "Hardly working…"
"Ta Ta For Now", my friend. Until we meet again."
~ Eulogy written by Jason Cox ~
Hello. My name is Jason Cox. To Friends and Family of Wayne, thank you for being here today to share in your love and support to a wonderful man who obviously touched so many lives...
But before I tell you how I came to know Wayne, let me start off by saying to Deborah, what an awesome and amazing women you are. The love that you and Wayne shared was so visible around our neighborhood. The two of you together touched so many lives. We are so thankful for the love and generosity you portray. I give you my word that all of us at Liberty Park in the little compound that we created are here for you always. We love you and will support you in anything you possibly need.
My wife Erica and I first met Wayne and Deborah only a couple of years ago. As with any great start to a relationship it seems we've known them for a lifetime. With any new tenants in the apartment Wayne and Deborah would meet them with open arms and be the first to welcome them to the neighborhood.
My relationship with Wayne started out a little weird though; you see my wife Erica and Wayne had started out from the beginning with this best friend relationship from day one. Their morning would consist with Wayne texting Erica; smoke? They would sit on the patio drinking coffee and having a smoke. Gossiping about whatever they wanted too. (Talk about work and calling wife and her telling you I'll call you back I'm talking to Wayne).
So basically I didn't trust the guy. I'd come home from work, and there he was sitting in my chair just laughing away with my wife. He would look at me and say oh "hey-Jay, do you want beat me up?" I would say in a joking way, "yes". He would say in a serious way "I don't think I can take you!! Ok I got to go ... the boss will be home soon".
Well as time went on I figured this relationship would get old and one of them would have to break it off. But oh no; they began dumpster diving together. (Tell stories of how they would call each other and how Wayne went to Albertson's with a big dolly coming back ticked off with nothing). Speaking for my wife. I know she truly misses her morning smoke and cup of coffee.
It was the simplest of things for those two to really enjoy each other's company.
But I must say that as time went on, I began to love and learn about this wonderful man. He was always asking if I needed help. Always had the right tools, and always had some great but funny words of Wisdom.
One day he told me that he used to be a surfer. He had long hair and could really hang ten. I just looked at the man and basically said: "yea old man!" There was just no way in my mind that was true. Then He sort of just looked up to the sky and said something to the effect "Sometimes in the morning, when it's good surf, I go out there and I don't feel like it's a bad world" Yup; he was a surfer.
He was also a fighter. He went through several cases of being sick: breast cancer; melanoma, etc., and he would beat them. God was not done with him yet.
But the most important thing I learned about Wayne was only recently. It was his love for Frogs. We had just visited him in the hospital on his birthday. As soon as I walked in I saw a bunch of stuffed FROGS in the room. Deborah saw the stupid look on my face and said "Oh, those are Wayne's. He loves Frogs". I thought once again thus guy is weird.
But it wasn't until the other day, Deborah had told me that Wayne had some favorite scriptures from his Bible and asked if I wanted to see it. I thought sure!! It's an amazing thing to look through someone else's Bible, their SWORD! You can see scriptures outlined and how the word really speaks to them. So as Deborah handed me his bible I saw the cover with a FROG on it. Surprise-Surprise. It simply says Forever Rely On God. How awesome is that. I can only imagine that every time he saw a frog or one of his many stuffed animals that it simply reminded him to Forever Rely On God. And I can honestly tell you now, that I will never look at a frog the same way anymore.
In searching for a couple of verses, two came to mind:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to sew
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.
And the second was told to be Wayne's favorite.
Jeremiah 29:11, New International Version (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
How fitting is it that the Hope and Future Wayne had faith in is now to be true, standing side by side with our Heavenly Father rejoicing with the Heavenly angels.
In closing, I'm reminded of the song below by Brad Paisley titled
♫ When I Get Where I'm Going ♫
I'd like to read a couple of sections of the song:
When I get where I'm going
On the far side off the sky
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly
I'm gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain
Yeah when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And l'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here
But when I get where I'm going
And I see my maker's face
I'll stand forever in the light
Of his amazing grace
Wayne; I am truly jealous and cannot wait for that day, l will see-you on the Hill buddy!!
♥ This memorial was created with love and sponsored by Saffron♥Wings out of friendship, respect and remembrance for our dear friend Wayne. You Are Gone But Not Forgotten ♥
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Specifically: Ashes given to his wife aka soul mate
Maintained by: Lady In Red
Originally Created by: Saffron♥Wings
Record added: Oct 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98645558