Born in Pulaski, Virginia to the late Rev. C. Virgil Anderson and Stella Grantham Anderson, Wayne’s formative years were centered on an active life growing up in a series of parsonages for churches in the Holston Conference of the Methodist Church at Mechanicsburg and Radford, Virginia, and Gray, Tennessee. He graduated from Boones Creek High School, Class of 1957, where he served as captain of the football team. He later graduated from East Tennessee State College in 1961 with his undergraduate degree in education. He earned the funds for his college education as a cameraman at WJHL-TV and as a lifeguard at the Munsey church pool, among other employment.
Wayne’s initial goal was to become a high school football coach; instead, he served with the Boy Scouts of America, Sequoyah Council and then entered the management training program for Klopman Mills, which later became part of Burlington Industries. This began a career-long affiliation with the textile company. He was transferred in 1964 to the Klopman plant in Rockingham, NC as Human Resources Director, and then in 1969 he was transferred back to the Johnson City plant. Although he received several opportunities for the advancement of his career with the company, he consistently refused these as this would have required that he and his family move from Johnson City, a community he loved for his family’s involvement in church and community, and for his devotion to his Burlington colleagues (which he called “family,” too), and the people of the region. He became known and respected as a beloved, but exacting mentor to many younger men and women as well as his peers in the Human Resources profession. After he retired in 2000, he was a consultant for many regional businesses.
His extensive church service included many leadership positions at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, including Chair of the Administrative Board, Staff-Parish Committee, and Lay Member to the Holston Annual Conference. He was active for almost 50 years with the Virgil Anderson Sunday School Class. He also served as a member of numerous Johnson City District and Holston Conference committees and was a certified Lay Speaker. Always a champion for encouraging others, his community service included the Johnson City Evening Rotary Club, where he had served as president, and the Rotary Club of Johnson City. He was a Paul Harris Fellow, and he had also traveled to Israel for a nine-week Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE). Wayne and his family enjoyed hosting GSE participants from Australia, Israel, Sweden, and other countries in their home over the years, especially when his sons were coming of age as he knew the exposure to other people across the world would be beneficial in many ways. Other civic involvement included the Johnson City Human Resource Association, Civil Service Board for the City of Johnson City, United Way, Johnson City Medical Center Foundation, Good Samaritan Ministries, Holston Home for Children, the Crumley House, Asbury Centers, the Girl Scouts of America, the Boy Scouts of America, the ETSU Foundation, and the Economic Development Board.
For his leadership and caring service for others as Wayne strived to live the love and example of Jesus Christ, he was recognized by Milligan College as a Leader in Christian Service. He had also received the J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award. The Thursday Morning Men’s Bible Study and Prayer Group at Munsey Church is named as a lasting tribute for Wayne.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Evangeline Hamilton Anderson, and their two sons, Jeff (Beth) Anderson, Johnson City, and David (Melissa) Anderson, Jonesborough. He and Evangeline are the grandparents of four granddaughters, Laura K. Anderson (Matt) Day, Gray; Olivia E. Anderson, Charleston, SC; Emily A. Anderson, Gray; and Morgan T. Street of Jonesborough. He is also survived by his sister, Velma A. Vicars, Kingsport; a nephew, Stephen M. Vicars (Atlanta, GA) and a niece, Angela L. Vicars of Knoxville; brother-in-law, C. Dean Hamilton (Barbara), as well as many cherished cousins and extended family. In addition to his parents, Wayne was predeceased by his parents-in-law, C.D. and Artie (Utsman) Hamilton, brother-in-law, Larry D. Hamilton, and brother-in-law, Jack D. Vicars.
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection/Praise and Thanksgiving for the Life of Wayne Anderson will be held at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, Johnson City, on Sunday, March 11, at 3:00 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. C. Mark Gooden, the Rev. Michael Lester, the Rev. Patty Muse, and the Rev. Ryan Beavers officiating. Music will be provided with the leadership of the Rev. Douglas Grove-DeJarnett, Matthew Brickey, and the Chancel Choir. A eulogy will be offered by Dr. Phil Kenneson.
Active pallbearers will be Dr. Boyce Berry, Harlan Booth, William R. Darden, Jr., Roger Day, Thomas Dehart, Scott Ledford, James Rudy, and Dr. Paul Stanton. Honorary Pallbearers are the Virgil Anderson Sunday School class; the Wayne Anderson Men’s Bible Study and Prayer Group; the Boones Creek High School Class of 1957; the Rotary Club of Johnson City and Johnson City Evening Rotary Club; Dr. Paul E. Brown, Jr.; Dr. Jason Hatjioannou; Dr. Koyamangalath Krishnan; Dr. David Miranda; Dr. Brent Welch; Jon Randall Johnson; Judge John Kiener; Dexter Newman; Nick Rhem, Bryan Hawk, and Fred Tucker. The family shall receive friends in the Munsey Christian Life Center immediately following the service. Committal services will be on Monday, March 12, at 11:00 a.m. at Washington County Memory Gardens, Johnson City. Family and friends will meet at 10:45 a.m. in the chapel at Washington County Memory Gardens.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial gifts be given to Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the East Tennessee State University Foundation or Milligan College for an academic, arts, athletics, or leadership program, or the Rotary International Foundation.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com . Tetrick Funeral and Cremation Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604 (423-610-7171) is honored to serve the Anderson family.