In Loving

Wayne Martin Wheatley

June 12, 1942 – July 1, 2024

Wayne Martin Wheatley, 82, passed away at his home on Monday, July 1, 2024, with his wife and family at his bedside following an unrelenting and courageous 2 1/2 year fight with pancreatic cancer. He was a precious and loving husband, daddy, father-in-law, Poppop, brother, uncle, and fun-loving friend to many and will be missed.

Wayne was the son of the late Habbert and Margaret Wheatley of Portsmouth Virginia. He is survived by his sweetheart and lifelong companion of 61 years, Jennifer Lynn McNeil, who he initially met on a blind date in 1960. He is also survived by his four daughters, Donna Sanders (Kevin) of Yorktown, Rebecca von Meister of Glen Allen, Patricia Dufrois (Hervé) of Vienna, and Frances Wigner (Preston) of Glen Allen; brother Gordon (Sybil) of Virginia Beach; and eight grandchildren Tyler Sanders, Christian Dufrois (Danielle), Christopher Sanders (Katherine), Jeremie Dufrois, Bridget Wigner, Maximilian von Meister, Bailey Dufrois, and Taylor Wigner. He is predeceased by his son-in-law, Rick von Meister.

Born and raised in Cradock in Portsmouth, Virginia, Wayne was an Eagle Scout and a proud Hokie, graduating from Virginia Tech in 1965 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He went on to earn his Professional Engineer license in 1969, Master of Engineering from ODU in 1973, and Master of Engineering Administration from George Washington University in 1981. He dedicated more than 30 years to civil service with the Department of Defense before retiring.

Wayne was an ever-present father, attending his four daughters’ sports, academic, and church events, always offering his love and guidance. Although he never left his role as a father, he quickly embraced with great affection the role of “Poppop” when his grandchildren were born. Staying involved in their academic pursuits and knowing every single grade and test that each encountered, he relished the opportunity to provide valuable advice to help guide them along their journeys. He also became a father figure to his grandson, Max, after the loss of Max’s father at two months old.

A few of Wayne’s favorite past times included enjoying coffee on his screened-in porch with his wife, tailgating at Virginia Tech with his huge Hokie family, and bodysurfing in the waves with his grandkids, most recently last summer at Pensacola Beach. Most importantly, he was a Christian which comforts us in knowing that he has passed on to be with our Lord and Savior.

Wayne accomplished many achievements during his life, but his greatest legacy was showing his family and friends the importance of selfless and unconditional love.  He was an exemplary husband, father, grandfather, and friend, and he will be forever missed.

The family will hold a private graveside service.