Wayne Lee DeSpain, 87, of Pipe Creek, passed away on May 15, 2020, due to complications of a stroke suffered on April 19, 2020.
He was born on Nov. 26, 1932 in London, Texas, to Jim and Lillie Pearl De-Spain. He married Ruth Ann Taylor in San Antonio on Dec. 22, 1961.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Merle Sanders, Ruth De-Spain and Edith Cravey, an infant brother, brothers Dennis, Donald and Louis and in-laws Tate and Ruth Taylor.
He is survived by his wife Ann, daughters, LeeAnn (Johnny) Havelka, Wendy (Rick) Guerra, Melissa (Jason) Schroeder, grandchildren Adrienne (Chris) Hancock, Stephanie Havelka, Kyle (Kristen) Guerra, Shelby (Ethan) Pursley, Cole Schroeder, Cailee Schroeder and great-grandchildren Lucas Hancock, Logan Guerra and Cami Pursley.
He is also survived by his brother Johnny (Chris) De-Spain and many cherished nieces, nephews and cousins.
Wayne grew up in Spicewood and graduated from Marble Falls High School in 1949. After graduation he moved to Temple, where he began his career as an electrician.
In 1950, he joined the Texas National Guard Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1961.
He also met Ann in 1961 while working in San Antonio and relocated there permanently when they married.
After the sudden death of his father-in-law in 1963, Wayne hung up his tools and joined the family business, The Tackle Box, in downtown San Antonio.
For over 20 years The Tackle Box was South Texas’ premier fishing and hunting retail store, and Wayne helped outfit many an angler and hunter. He also built many custom fishing rods which are still in use today. Wayne also mentored many high school students that worked at the store.
As he and Ann didn’t have any boys, there were several throughout the years that became his “sons,” each of them loved as his own and each one leaving a mark on his heart.
In 1964, the family moved to Helotes where they lived for 24 years.
During that time, Wayne provided his girls with a loving, happy home and an idyllic childhood - happy memories made possible due to his selflessness and unconditional love. His hard work in providing for his family did not go unnoticed as his strong work ethic was passed on to his children and grandchildren.
Above all else, Wayne was happiest when he was surrounded by his family.
When the store closed in 1980, Wayne rejoined the electrical trade.
After moving to Tarpley in 1988, he became active in the Tarpley Volunteer Fire Dept and especially enjoyed their annual BBQ fundraiser, where he relished his role as pit master.
After his retirement in 2002, Wayne and Ann RV’ed extensively throughout the Midwest and West Coast for seven years, coming home to roost during the winter months.
In 2012, they sold their ranch in Tarpley and moved to Pipe Creek, continuing to travel. In 2014, they began working as state park hosts throughout Central Texas for Texas Parks & Wildlife.
The social butterfly with the booming voice and trademark pipe, he loved interacting with the campers. It was his favorite part of being a host as Wayne never met a stranger.
After a hip injury in 2019, he hung up his TPW hat. Never one to sit still for long, he was always repairing something or had a project in the works, right up until the good Lord called him home.
As long as we live, you will live.
As long as we live, you will be remembered.
As long as we live, you will be loved.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Pipe Creek Presbyterian Church, 8589 Highway 16 South, Pipe Creek, Texas.