Submitted by his Wife
Waynesville Fireman Lt. Wayne Edward Yarborough died in the line of duty March 5‚ 2006. He had responded to a brush fire. Just a few minutes after returning home‚ he was getting ready for church. He collapsed to the floor suffering a massive heart attack. Wayne died two days before his 60th birthday. He loved the fire department and what it stood for. Wayne was a 38-year veteran with the WFD. He served as a lieutenant for many of those years. Wayne graduated from Waynesville Township High School. Shortly after finishing school‚ Wayne entered into the U.S. Army. He was discharged with an honorable discharge in March of 1968.
Wayne worked for the Town of Waynesville Electric Department for 26 years‚ and he had perfect attendance for all those years. He was a class 4 linesman. He worked as a supervisor and an assistant supervisor for several of those years. Wayne had planned on retiring in June of 2006.
He pastored a small hometown church in Waynesville for four years. He attended this church for 55 years and served as a Sunday school teacher for many years. He always kept his faith. He was a very dedicated‚ hard-working man. Wayne took pride in his church‚ the fire department‚ and his job.
Wayne loved helping people in need and was a very giving‚ free-hearted person. Wayne has come home from a bad fire call many times; his turnout gear would be soaked with water and would be frozen on him. He would not leave the fire scene until the job was done and everyone was OK. He has done the same working on the power lines. His clothes would be soaked and frozen. The lines and tree limbs would be weighted down and break from the heavy snow. He would always work until all the power was restored‚ no matter how sleepy or give out he was‚ and never complain. His words were always‚ ‘I had rather work a storm break as to eat when I was hungry.’
Since Wayne has passed on‚ I have heard the younger firemen say how much they appreciated Wayne. The way he took them under his wing and taught them what he had learned in his many years of firefighting. And what a big impact he played on their lives. You could always count on Wayne to be one of the first with an air pack on‚ going into a burning business or house.
His son Dwayne is among those younger firemen that looked up to him. Since his dad has passed on‚ Dwayne has become a lieutenant with the WFD and is now a full-time fireman. Dwayne was named Fireman of the Year in 2006. His dad would have been very proud of him that he is carrying on the legacy.
Wayne almost lost his life in April of 1982 fighting the Benningfield Chemical Fire here in Waynesville. With the bucket truck from the electric department stalled with bucket up in mid-air‚ his and another fireman’s turnout gear was almost ablaze they were so close to the fire.
Wayne loved to deer hunt and fish. He liked to collect antiques of all kinds. He enjoyed doing woodwork and growing his garden.
Wayne was loved by everyone who knew him and is deeply missed. He was named Employee of the Year for the Town of Waynesville in 1990 and was named Fireman of the Year in 1982.