Denton, Wayne Kendall
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74, of Meridain, ID. passed away on December 7, 2013. Born in St. Jo, Missouri on July 20,1939 his family moved to Montevideo, Uruguay during the Second World War where his father became the country director for International Harvester Company. Wayne was just one year old. At 6, he drove his first tractor. This experience would shape the course of his life for many years to come. While growing up in South America, Wayne became a scratch golfer and fluent Spanish speaker. At 13, Wayne came back to the United States and began attending Maur Hill, a Catholic boarding school, in Kansas, where he excelled at football. Upon graduating from Maur Hill he was accepted to Kansas State University and pursued his B.S. in Business Administration and played on the Kansas State golf team. He then attended Arizona State University in the graduate program, and in 1962, became the university's very first MBA graduate. In 1961, Wayne married Lynne Denton and began his professional career at International Harvester, the same heavy equipment company his father managed while Wayne was growing up in Uruguay. In 1964 Wayne and Lynne gave birth to their son, Michael Denton. Wayne and his family moved to back to Phoenix in 1966 where Wayne began working for Empire Machinery Company. Through passion and hard work, Wayne climbed the ranks to become Vice President of Operations. All of Wayne's hard work pursuing his career paid off in 1994 when he was offered a prominent position in Boise, Idaho as the president of Western States Equipment Company. Wayne's life changed even more when he re-married in 1995. His wife Mary K moved herself and her three sons Drew, Tyler, and Shane to Boise, along with her legal practice. But Johnson Machinery Company in Riverside, CA offered Wayne the opportunity to lead in a way that allowed Wayne the resources, trust, and personnel to fully implement Wayne's business management genius. Wayne accepted the position with the much-respected dealership in 2002 as Senior Vice President and General Manager. In two years, Wayne led the company to Gold Dealer status and by 2006 had achieved Gold Dealer Status in all measured categories, making Johnson Machinery Co. the only CAT dealer in the history of Caterpillar, Inc. to have achieved the Platinum Dealer Award, its highest award. Wayne retired in Boise in 2006. In Boise, Wayne was finally able to find the time away from his career ambitions to pursue his other passions. Wayne enjoyed playing golf, his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and cars. He returned to Montevideo, Uruguay several times over the years. Wayne was also introduced to another of his greatest passions after moving to Boise: Boise State athletics. Wayne adopted the Broncos almost immediately upon moving to Boise and had been a fan ever since, win or lose. As a long-time season ticket holder in both football and basketball, Wayne enjoyed attending coaches' luncheons and travelled with his wife Mary to many of the most prominent Bronco victories, including the monumental win in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and the season opener against Virginia Tech in 2010, which, as friends will attest, were the rare moments Wayne outwardly expressed total jubilation. Wayne's work ethic, his commitment to his employees, his rigorous moral standards and conviction that work and the comfort of family came before anything else, will live on in the many lives he touched. He never, ever, gave up. He will be lovingly remembered by his family: wife Mary K and three stepsons Drew, Tyler and Shane Lorona; his son Michael, and his wife Dee Dee and their two daughters, Katherine (21) and Caroline (17) in Glendale, AZ., and cousin, Mary Linn Johnson, of Kansas. Funeral Services will be held 11:00am Saturday December 14th 2013 at: Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 6300 N. Meridian Road. Meridian, ID. 83646
Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 12, 2013