Wendell Wayne Walston of Leesburg, and affectionately known by everyone as Wayne, passed away at 2:23 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019, at his residence at the age of 76. He returned to his home on Tippecanoe Lake as he had wanted and passed away peacefully surrounded by the family he loved so much, just as much as they loved him.
He was born on Sept. 27, 1942, in Rising Sun, to Opal (Koons) Walston and John Walston. On June 28, 1964, he was married to Betty Violet (Smelser) Walston, who survives.
He was a 1968 graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, where he received his B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science. He continued on to law school and was a 1971 graduate of Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington. He went into private practice in Muskegon, Mich. from 1971-1976. He served as the General Counsel for GTE Telephone Company in 1976.
He moved to California and worked for the Sprint Corporation from 1985-1986. From 1986-1989 he moved to Kansas City, Kansas and served Sprint as the Vice President and General Counsel. Wayne was transferred in 1989 to Mansfield, Ohio and served as the Executive Vice President of Secretarial and Legal Affairs.
He served on the board of directors of TRIAD of the American Red Cross; the Advisory Board for the Alzheimer’s Association of Indiana; served on the board of directors and as chairman for the salary committee of The Gorman Rupp Company in Mansfield, Ohio; was a member of the Michigan, Ohio and Indiana State Bar Association; and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Indiana Elder Law Section. Wayne was also a member of the Board of Ohio State University Mansfield Campus.
He was a frequent speaker at seminars and symposiums on elder law topics. He was selected annually by his nationwide elder law colleagues as among the Best Lawyers in America in the field of elder law from 2009 through 2017. He served on the Board of Directors of Cardinal Services of Indiana from 2008-2009. He never tired of learning and graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Executive Education, as well as completing Cornell University’s Finance and Accounting for Non-financial Managers.
He retired in 2000 and moved to Tippecanoe Lake in Leesburg in 2001. Never one to settle down he went into private practice in the field of Estate Planning and Elder Law, where he was recognized by his colleagues as “Super Lawyer” from 2008-2018. He retired in 2016 from Beers, Mallers, Backs and Salin, LLP in Warsaw. After retirement, he kept busy with research and writing on matters of historical fiction, as well as traveling, boating at his home on the lake, and mastering the game of bridge with his beloved wife, Betty. He will be dearly missed by his family and countless friends and colleagues.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 55 years, Betty Violet Walston (Leesbug); son: Jonathon (Courtney) Walston (Kansas City, Kan.); and two daughters: Nicky Walston and Wende (Jason) Dailey (both of Lawrence, Kan.). Also surviving are four granddaughters: Mina and Shea Dailey, Amelia and Bailey Walston; brother: Roger (Rita) Walston (Batavia, Ohio); sister: Freda Gray (Vevay, Indiana); many sisters and brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister and five brothers.
Visitation will be held from noon-2 p.m., Saturday, June 29, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw. His life will be celebrated with a memorial service that will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. and officiated by Pastor Bob Seewald.
Memorial donations in Wayne Waltson’s name may be directed to Leesburg United Methodist Church, 111 W. Prairie Street, Leesburg, Indiana 46538; or to Harbor Light Hospice, 1820 E. Day Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s Web Site at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com