In the early morning of July 7, 2016, Wayne Verbeck passed away in his sleep in Bakersfield, California. The cause was complications from Parkinson's disease.
Born June 25, 1927 in Spokane, Washington, Wayne first lived in Spirit Lake, Idaho. From there the Verbeck family moved about the beautiful Northern Idaho area, ultimately settling in Rathdrum, Idaho. It was here in the seventh grade that he became acquainted with his classmate Patricia O'Donnell. Their friendship grew into a romance, with the couple becoming inseparable in high school. He and Patricia were two of the 16-member Rathdrum High School senior class of 1945.
Immediately after graduation, Wayne enlisted in the Merchant Marine. He found himself on ships that traveled to exotic ports of call including Alaska, New York City, Hawaii, and Venezuela. At the end of his last deployment, Wayne was discharged in Savannah, Georgia and had to hitchhike all the way across the country back to Rathdrum.
His girl was still waiting for him when he returned from the service. Wayne and Patricia married on June 12, 1948. Apparently it was a good choice for both of them because they celebrated their 68th anniversary this past June.
Wayne and Patricia's family grew with the births of Gregory Wayne and Christine Ann. The family then moved from Rathdrum to Spokane, where Wayne had attended Kinman Business University upon being discharged from the service.
After working for the Northern Idaho Consolidated School District for two years, Wayne entered the field in which he would remain his entire career: the oil industry. Starting as a bookkeeper with Inland Empire Oil Refineries, working up to auditor at Phillips 66 Petroleum Company, and, ultimately, credit manager for Tosco, Wayne traveled the entire western United States as part of his job. It was this career that had the family moving to Bountiful, Utah, then Whittier, California, and finally Bakersfield. Wayne retired in 1986 and chose to stay in his new hometown of Bakersfield.
At age 55, Wayne decided to take up the sport of racquetball, and he loved it. He not only played but began competing, both locally and in the Huntsman World Senior Games and the United States Senior Games. He competed in both singles and doubles, winning a multitude of bronze, silver and gold medals. Neither a heart attack nor lung surgery stopped him from playing. He continued to play until his early 80s.
Wayne will be remembered for many qualities. His calm manner and varied life experiences led many to seek his advice. He was a good team player, both at work, on the town baseball teams and the company bowling teams. He got along with everybody and everybody got along with him.
His children will remember him for the annual 2-week summer camping trips, where the rule seemed to be that every day they had to drive another five hundred miles, pitch the tent for one night, and move on again the next morning. While a bit hectic, this system resulted in scores of places visited, many wonderful memories made, and a wealth of exciting and funny stories that are still being passed down in the family.
His grandchildren will remember him for the summer road trips in the van. Being a truly brave man, he could be found almost every summer for over 15 years driving one, two, three, four or all five of his granddaughters and his wife throughout the Western United States. When a granddaughter reached the age of 2, she was considered old enough to join in the fun and space was made for her in the van.
Wayne was preceded in death by his father Roy, mother Mildred and granddaughter Sandy Verbeck. Wayne is survived by his wife Patricia, son Gregory (Phyllis Ishisaka), daughter Christine (Dennis) Bolt, grandchildren Jennifer Verbeck, Melissa (Richard) Bogle, Emily (James Keenley) Bolt, Shannon Bolt, great-grandchildren Haley, Hannah, Lillian, and Charlotte Bogle, and Lila Mae, Raleigh and Meadow Keenley. He is also survived by his sister Vonnie Satchwell and her family.
Wayne was a member of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Bakersfield where he was a greeter and liturgical reader at many a Sunday Mass.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Wayne at St. Philip the Apostle Church, 7100 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, on Thursday, July 14 at 9:30a.m. A reception will follow immediately after in Logan Hall at St. Philip's.
Wayne's final resting place will be at Pine Grove Cemetery in Rathdrum, Idaho. A memorial ceremony will take place there at a later date.
His family would like to thank Wayne's dedicated, loving caregivers at Whispering Pines: Chito, Luz, Jane, Ashley, and Lorna. Thanks also to the staff of Optimal Hospice for the outstanding care they provided Wayne these past months.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to
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