We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at O'Leary Funeral Service
Wayne Joseph Willette, 68, died peacefully at home on Sunday, November 28, 2021, surrounded by his loving family and friends. Wayne was born on August 21, 1953, in Plattsburgh to the late Victor & Lucile Willette.
Wayne is survived by his bride of 37 years, Kathy and a son, Jordan. Sisters, Luanne (John) LaBarge-Willette and Jana (Mike) Gadway. Sister-in-law Laura Weatherhead and Brother-in-law Tom (Judi) Weatherhead. Additionally, he is survived by nieces and their children, Jill & Mark (Sara & Ethan) Prudenti and Erin & Jason (Ryan & Aiden) Platts and Goddaughter (Brooke Jenne). He had an amazing group of friends and a very special family; Eli, Amanda, Olivia, and Elle White in his life that he loved and adored.
Wayne attended Northeastern Clinton and graduated in 1971 then continued on to SUNY Plattsburgh and graduated in 1975 with a BS in Education. He began his teaching career in 1975 at Canton Central School teaching 6th grade. He was a teacher and coach that changed lives. He got the most out of all students and athletes who were lucky enough to learn from and/or play for him.
Wayne coached soccer for 30 years. He led the JV boys to 11 JV championships, had 7 undefeated seasons and a 71-game winning streak. He also coached softball for 35 years. His team won 4 overall league titles, 7 Class B titles, 6 Class C titles, and made 6 NYS quarterfinal appearances. He led two of his players on to play Division 1 softball.
Wayne retired in June, 2011 and was inducted into the Canton Hall of Fame in September, 2011.
Wayne loved the game of golf to the extent of naming his dog after his clubs, Ping and played as often as he possibly could. He also had a love for the New York Yankees. Kathy always said they lived in ‘Yankee World’ due to him often wearing the team apparel. Even their house is painted in Yankee colors (blue, white, and gray)! He was notorious for remembering EVERY team and player statistic.
Wayne will be remembered for his positivity, sense of humor, love of family, friends, Christmas, and his strong belief in faith, which began in his earliest days acting as an alter server. He lit up when called Coach, Dad or Pops!
The family would like to thank Dr. Carlos Marroquin (despite being a Red Sox fan) for all his skills and love that gave us extended time with Wayne. Also, to the staff at UVM (Baird 6) for their love and compassion, especially Kate Miller and Adison Rounds.
Calling hours will be at O’Leary Funeral Home in Canton on Thursday, December 2nd from 3:00-6:00pm. A funeral service will be held on Friday, December 3rd at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Church in Canton. Per request of family, anyone attending calling hours and/or the funeral service need to be vaccinated and wear a mask. A Celebration of Life to honor Wayne and his life accomplishments will be held in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Canton Golden Bear Education Foundation, Att: Kelley Glasgow, 99 State Street Canton, NY 13617 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com. Arrangements for Mr. Wayne J. Willette are under the care of the O’Leary Funeral Service of Canton.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Canton Golden Bear Education Foundation
99 State Street, Canton NY 13617
Attn: Kelley Glasgow