I knew Wayne for about 22 years. I sold him his first vinyl cutter and SignLab software in 1993 or so. I was just at his office a couple of months ago to install and configure a new version of SignLab for him. Wayne was an old fashioned, hard working, straight shooting man. He was bright and alert, with a firm handshake, his signature and hand writing – smooth and steady!
I liked Wayne a lot and I asked Sign & Digital Graphics magazine to do a story about him – and to their credit they did. What made Wayne special? Well, nothing I guess if you asked him. He was a simple man with a heart of gold and the fortitude of forged steel. This was a guy who maybe never went to a trade show and hardly ever left Missouri as far as I know. He never wrote an article, never had one written about him, never wrote a book, didn’t give seminars or demonstrations at the sign shows. But he made a lot of great signs for a lot of years. Just one of millions of quiet Americans that got up every day and went to work or church, took care of his family and his customers, paid his taxes and never expected anything for it, just some food to eat and a place to sleep. Anyone who can do that day in and day out for over fifty years – well that’s my kind of guy.
His daughter, Cathy, called me that Sunday and told me he’d passed away on Friday. She found my number on a pad by his computer, so she called me. On the other side of his keyboard was your magazine. She said he was so proud of that article. I cried. To the folks at Sign & Digital Graphics magazine – know that he got to see it before he passed and thanks for taking the time to pay homage to one of the thousands of great sign-makers – but one few would have ever even heard of had it not been for you.
Wayne was a great guy, and a great sign-maker. I’ll never forget him. I’ll see you in heaven Wayne.
Click the link to read the article about Wayne featured in Sign & Digital Graphics magazine, Feb. 2015 issue