Wayne Blackwelder, 78, Longwood, passed away too soon on April 7, 2018 surrounded by family. He was born in his grandparents’ home in Alachua County on December 8, 1939, the only son of Octavius and Myrtle (Philpot) Blackwelder. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Shannon Blackwelder and granddaughter Haley Moore.
He is survived by his loving partner Ramona Hansbrough; his daughters Paige Blackwelder & husband Warren Lockeby; Kristen Jernigan & husband Alex; Lisa Blackwelder; Layne Hooper & husband Chris; his grandchildren Jensen, McGowin, Andrew, Maddox, Brock, Erin; and stepchildren Kara Moore & husband Tim; and Ryan Hansbrough. He is also survived by his sisters Pat Wilson & husband Ted; Alicia Reffitt; Sue Woodall & husband Jim along with his many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Wayne joined the Coast Guard in 1960 & remained in the reserves until 1968. He worked at Cape Kennedy, Cape Canaveral and Martin Marietta. In order to provide for his young growing family, he returned to college and worked for FSU Campus Housing and he delivered the newspaper. He graduated from FSU the year his 4th daughter was born.
In 1969 Wayne and Tuni bought into the family business and ran Blackwelder’s Department Store in Apopka until it closed in 1987. They also opened clothing and shoe stores in Deland, Mt. Dora and Winter Garden. In 1986 Wayne, Tuni and Paige opened Tuni on Park Ave. in Winter Park. He then began his encore career as a realtor, retiring in the 90s.
Wayne was an avid ‘Noles fan, he loved sports. He spent hours in his backyard gardens and was happiest when entertaining and having cookouts. Most of all, he loved his girls, his grandchildren and his family. He had a special bond with Jensen, his first grandchild and only granddaughter. McGowin is following in Wayne’s footsteps, attending FSU in the fall. He loved listening to Andrew commentate sports games, and shared coin collecting with Maddox. Wayne loved hearing Brock play the piano and going to Erin’s softball games.
He will be dearly missed by his many neighbors, friends and his entire family.
The visitation will be Thursday, April 12, 4-6pm at the former Blackwelder’s Department Store location – The Tabernacle of Prayer & Deliverance 415 S. Central Ave. Apopka, FL 32703. The funeral service is Friday, April 13 at 5pm at First Baptist Church of Apopka.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida (807 S. Orlando Ave., Suite R. Winter Park, FL 32789).