Wayne Keith Denney passed peacefully on May 5, 2022, at the age of 93 with his daughter at his side in Eagle River. Through his progression of his increasing medical concerns in recent years, he showed courage, optimism, and great faith during each stage.
Wayne was the son of Dale and Genevieve Denney, born in Stockbridge on Feb. 2, 1929. Following Wayne's father's death, the family relocated to Neenah. Wayne graduated from Menasha High School in 1947. Wayne assisted his mother in the operations of the family diner located in downtown Menasha and always a very family-oriented man. Wayne joined the U.S. Air Force and, among other locales, was stationed in the Philippines during the Korean War, being honorably discharged in April 1954. Wayne later met the love of his life, Caryl Jean Edmund, and they married June 22, 1957.
Wayne and Caryl made their home in Neenah, where they raised three children. Wayne was a dedicated lifelong employee of the George Banta Company for 42 years until his retirement in 1988 and an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Neenah, among other community interests and active involvement.
How Wayne loved the Northwoods and every new season! With Caryl's birthplace being Rhinelander, Wayne and Caryl made first their summer retreat and later built their retirement home on Lake Emma in the Town of Crescent. Fishing, boating, campfires, feeding the birds, and anything to do with the outdoors engaged Wayne. Hosting family and enjoying the time withall the wonderful nieces, nephews, and great friends each summer while living on Emma Lane were highlights of each passing year for Wayne. In retirement, Wayne served as a longtime volunteer for Meals-On-Wheels and in various capacities and boards within the First United Methodist Church of Rhinelander.
Wayne and Caryl moved from Lake Emma to Hilltop Road in Rhinelander in January of 2006 to be closer to family. Most recently, and as Wayne's physical decline required ever-increasing support, he moved to Nature's Pointe Assisted Living in Eagle River of which he helped his daughter and son-in-law plan from day one. Mission accomplished!
At Nature's Pointe, Wayne instantly embarked on making wonderful new friendships which made him very happy and renewed his spirit. Wayne had an abundance of joyful moments, excellent food, and camaraderie within his new home, new friends and with fellow veterans. Wayne's days were full of laughter, with just a bit of mischief tossed in on his end to keep it fun. Some of Wayne's favorite times were also found with his small group devotionals, biblical readings, and in prayer. Wayne was provided excellent care and never seemed to mind the pampering from the high-quality and compassionate care from the staff of Nature's Pointe Assisted Living. As he approached his final weeks, Compassus Hospice assisted and supported Wayne and the Nature's Pointe team, simply priceless!
Wayne was a huge sports fan, rooting on the Brewers, the Packers, the Bucks, and the Badgers. Wayne and Caryl were present at many Hodag sporting events over the decades yet relished in their grandchildren's various sporting activities spanning across the state, from Rhinelander to Menasha to North Fond du Lac to Oshkosh and other pursuits any grandchild undertook - they were your biggest cheerleaders! Wayne enjoyed his Canadian fishing trips and his participation with the Men's Prayer Breakfast group. Wayne reminisced these life experiences and so much more throughout his final days. Last, but certainly not least, Wayne adored and spoiled his numerous canine companions over the years; the most fortunate dogs who had him as a master (or perhaps vice versa).
Wayne was a peaceful, purpose-driven, and reflective man, never one to make a quick decision if opportunity allowed. Wayne touched many lives, in so many ways. He was a man whose wisdom will be carried down through generations and for the greater good. Wayne was a faithful man whose kind and gentle spirit, combined with his intellect and articulate way, left lasting impressions on all especially for those near and dear to his heart.
Wayne, also known to several as "Bumpa" was a pillar for all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who gained life wisdom and strength from him. Bumpa held a very special place in his heart for each. Bumpa truly treasured the frequent long visits while residing at Nature's Pointe with family who came to visit often or called. Even though his health declined, he continued to nurture, guide, and play with his his great-grandchildren. Bumpa was always excited to hear any of their voices calling out "Bumpa, Bumpa," receiving their long hugs, sitting on his lap, and quick smooches, and playing with the now-infamous Mr. Panda. He also loved to hear about the older great-grandchildren's latest sports, school, and important life updates.
Thank you to all the exceptional staff at Legacy of the Northwoods - Nature's Pointe Assisted Living for helping this fine man Walk Home to join his beloved wife, his sister, and his mother, amongst other friends, family and pets were surely awaiting Wayne's tender touch and pleasant company.
Wayne was predeceased by his father, Dale Denney, his mother, Genevieve (Larson) Denney, his wife Caryl, and sister Kay.
Wayne is survived by his daughter, Gayle Holquist (Mark) of Eagle River, daughter Carrie of Oshkosh, and a son Jim (Sherri) of Appleton; nine beloved grandchildren, Aimee, Michael (Elizabeth), Dylan, Jeanette, Koby, Jordan, Brady, Dannielle, and Justyn. Wayne is further survived by his six cherished great-grandchildren children, Mai Lan, Anthony, Dylan, Millie, Aria and Carter.
Rest in grace and love Wayne Denney, a true gentleman. Hat's off to you!
A private Celebration of Life for Wayne will be held this summer in Eagle River at Nature's Pointe Assisted Living. If you wish to send the family condolences, the mailing address is Legacy of the Northwoods PO Box 2678 Eagle River, WI 54521 or feel free to post online at Carlson's Funeral Home at https://www.carlsonfh.com.
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