WILLIAMSON, Kendrick Wayne 83, of Brandon, Florida entered into eternal rest on June 7, 2021, in Dover, Florida. Wayne was born in Luverne, Alabama to Cecil and Mildred Williamson and spent the majority of his childhood in Tampa, Florida. Wayne graduated from Jefferson High School in 1956. He then attended the University of Florida, where he played football for the Gators while studying to earn his Master's Degree in Physical Education and Health. During his time at the University of Florida, Wayne was a member of Florida Blue Key, the University of Florida Honor Court, the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, and the University of Florida Student Hall of Fame. Following his graduation from the University of Florida, he served short stints as an assistant teacher at University of Florida and teacher and assistant football coach at Jefferson High School. He then spent two years of active duty in the United States Army. Wayne was discharged from active duty in January 1964 continuing to serve in the Army Reserves where he rose to the rank of Captain. Wayne then returned to the Tampa area and worked as an educator, coach, and eventual Athletic Director for Brandon High School. In 1967, Wayne left Brandon for Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, where he served as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from 1968 to 1970. In 1970, Wayne returned to the Tampa area, where he served as the first Director of Athletics for Hillsborough County Public Schools. Wayne was a pioneer for athletics in Hillsborough County and led the charge in developing a system for centralized funding of athletics, promoting gender equity among Florida women's sports, and establishing the female sports program in Hillsborough County. Wayne was a well-respected, passionate, and strong advocate for athletics throughout his career, retiring in 1999 after 29 years in this position. He was inducted into the Florida High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2000. Wayne found his greatest joy and life's priority in family. His admiration for his wife, children and grandchildren was infectious. Rarely was an event or game missed and never was there an absence of pride for whatever pursuit they sought. He was a man of great faith, serving as an active member and deacon of First Baptist Church of Brandon for many years. He was a lover of sport, and you could always find him watching a game on TV or playing a round of golf. Most importantly, Wayne always found the joy in life and simply did not believe bad days were necessary. Wayne was preceded in death by his sisters, Darlene Fischer and Kathy Dozier. Wayne is survived by his wife of 63 years, Pati; children, Ken Williamson (Tonya) of Valrico, Karen Snapp (Scott) of Plant City, and Jim Williamson (Tracey) of Dover; grandchildren, Lauren (Jeff), Skotti (Leo), Jimmy (Lindsay), Katie (Jeff), Emma, Sara Kate, Joseph, Amaiah, Johnathan, Cailyn, and Brady; four great-grandsons and two great-grandsons on the way; sisters, Vivian Prather of Flowery Branch, Georgia, Linda Warden of Woodland, Alabama and Patricia Lee; and many other extended family and friends. A funeral service will be held Thursday, June 17, at 10 am at First Baptist Church of Brandon, 216 N. Parsons Avenue, Brandon. The family will receive friends one hour prior at 9 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Florida Foundation at https://www.uff.ufl.edu/give-now/
Published by Tampa Bay Times from Jun. 13 to Jun. 14, 2021.