American Veteran 01
Official Obituary of

Wayne Roy Maples

April 14, 1927 ~ January 14, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Wayne Maples Obituary

Wayne Roy Maples passed into the loving arms of his Savior on Sunday, January 14. Wayne was 96, born on April 14, 1927, in Luther, Oklahoma. He was one of nine children, and the last surviving of the Roy and Sarah Maples family. In 1935, Roy sold everything and loaded the family of 11, plus two relatives into one Buick and headed for Southern California. Wayne (Dad) was 7. He sat on his sister’s lap.

There, in Ontario, Dad completed his eighth-grade education and entered the workforce, mostly picking fruit. In the winter of 1944, Dad was 17 and longed for a role in World War 2. Receiving the parental permission required for a 17-year-old, Dad enlisted in the Navy and proudly served his country in the South Pacific theatre. When the war ended, Dad still had some time to serve. His stateside base was Alameda, Calif. In 1947, on a weekend leave, Dad ventured over to San Francisco’s Playland, an amusement park that once inhabited the Pacific shoreline. Having spent his last cent that day, Wayne began trying to sell a fountain pen for the return fare back to Alameda. One young woman showed interest — the former Maxine Friesen. She spent the rest of the day paying for them both to go on the rides, and for the cab fare. Wayne and Maxine were married six weeks later and were married until Mom’s passing in 2021. Seventy-four years.

Upon Wayne’s discharge from the USN, he and Maxine moved to Tempe, Ariz. to be near Wayne’s parents. Their first of five sons, Michael, was born there in 1948. In 1950, the young family of three traveled to visit Maxine’s family, who had just relocated to Eureka. At Maxine’s request, she and Michael remained in Eureka for a longer visit while Wayne returned to his power company job in Tempe. Just a few days later Maxine received a call from Wayne announcing that the family was moving to Eureka. Maxine was overjoyed to be located near her family.

Their first Eureka place of residence was low-income housing located where Winco is now. In those days Eureka was dominated by the redwood lumber industry, and Dad first worked at a sawmill. He hated it. So, he began to apply elsewhere, including PG&E, but was not hired. The PG&E interviewer gave Dad’s name to a local plumbing company in need of an apprentice. It seems their apprentice had “skipped” off to Canada to avoid the draft. Dad was hired as an apprentice over the phone the next day, sight unseen. The plumbing industry would prove to be our family’s good fortune. He completed his apprenticeship in 1953, having received time for his military service. He acquired his contractor’s license in 1960 and started his own company. Dad and Mom would experience a good measure of risk, sacrifice, loss, near bankruptcy, and recovery. He borrowed the $1,000 seed money for the venture from his mother-in-law. So it was also Mom’s investment from the beginning. Whatever ups or downs the company experienced, it was Wayne and Maxine’s pulling together through their hard work ethic.

During these early years Wayne and Maxine added four sons to their home — Bruce in 1951, twins Rodney and Roger in 1954, and Dale in 1962. Dad’s faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the foundation of our home. He and Mom made sure we boys knew the way to Jesus. Dad was a faithful and active member of the Eureka Nazarene Church, serving as an usher, building improvement volunteer, and board member.

Dad instilled early in us boys a work ethic and the importance of the acquisition of a skill. He preferred that we work during vacation. He, nor Mom, were helicopter parents. We rode our bikes to school, to practice, to the store, and all around town. We returned home at dark. We spent summer weekends water skiing. We always had a boat. He took us to church on Sunday. When complaining about our Sunday attendance his famous line was, “You don’t have to go to church, you get to go to church”.

As time went by and travel became possible, Dad and Mom traveled the world, from China to Israel, and from cruises through the Panama Canal to the Alaskan Inside Passage. Mom and Dad were the perfect example of two, being one. Dad loved his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Dad and Mom wore out several motorhomes traveling to see them all.

Finally, it must be said that Dad, along with Mom, loved Eureka. For 74 years they both enjoyed love returned from this community.

Dad was preceded in death by mom in 2021, and grandson Michael Wayne Jr in 1983. He is survived by his five sons and their spouses — Michael and Debbie Maples of Surprise, Ariz., Bruce and Linda Maples of Tauranga, N.Z., Rodney and Sonja Maples of Eureka, Roger and Janice Maples of Santa Rosa and Dale and Jillaine Maples of Eureka. He is also survived by his 22 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

The last two years were a little hard for Dad. He’d lost Mom. We’d like to thank just a few. First, the VA. They really came through with providing home care. Second, Agape Home Care. The workers were amazing at developing relationships with Dad. Third, Hospice of Humboldt. All the great things you’ve heard about Hospice are true. Any words penned here to describe Hospice would not be enough. Finally, friends and family. Too many to name. Through the work and love of all, Dad was able to live out his years at home.

A memorial for Wayne will be on January 27 at 2 p.m., at the Eureka Nazarene Church. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Hospice of Humboldt.

and on behalf of Sanders Funeral Home - thank you, sir, for your service. 

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