BREWER - Wayne Hewett Heath, 75, of Veazie, Maine went to be with the Lord on November 21, 2017. He was born on February 4, 1942 in Rockland, Maine - the only child of Stanley Heath and Edna (Hewett) Heath.
As a boy, Wayne was taught by his father, a metal worker at Bath Iron Works, how to use tools and work with his hands for carpentry, car maintenance, and other handyman skills that he would use throughout his life. Wayne embraced the outdoors from a young age and loved being a member of the Boy Scouts. While in high school, he ran his own lawnmowing business, and, at age 14, he lied about his age so he could get his driver’s license a year early and drive for his business.
Wayne graduated from Rockland High School in 1960 and attended the University of Maine at Orono, where he met his wife, Cynthia Sanborn Heath of Saco, Maine, through a campus ride-share board. He needed riders to split the cost of gas for a spring break road trip to Florida, and Cynthia and her friend were looking for a ride to Washington, DC. On that trip, Wayne invited Cynthia on a tour of the national monuments, including to the top of Washington Monument, which was their first date. They were married on March 28, 1965 at the First Parish Congregational Church in Saco.
Wayne worked several odd jobs to pay his way through college and graduated as a Math and Science double major in 1967. While in school, he rose to the rank of expert in the Army ROTC’s marksmanship program, which prompted the FBI to offer him a job in Washington, DC when he graduated, but he turned it down to stay in Maine. During this same year, he received his Professional Land Surveyors license.
Wayne began working at the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) in Bangor, where he would spend 40 years working as a construction engineer, a Traffic Engineer who programmed all the traffic signals in Bangor, and as the Chief Engineer on numerous road and bridge construction projects. Most summers, Wayne’s job had him away working on freeway construction projects. He made life-long friendships with many of his MDOT co-workers, who, like Wayne, also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and swapping tall tales. Wayne loved to entertain by telling funny stories, several of which contained salty language, and often laughed loudly at many of his own jokes.
In 1972, the couple moved into the house Wayne built himself, on Chase Road in Veazie, and where they raised their three children: Kristi, Bryan, and Diana.
In the late 70s, Wayne and other outdoorsmen worked toward the successful closing and cleanup of the Veazie Town Dump on the banks of the Penobscot River. Conservation Park was built in its place, and a log cabin clubhouse for the Veazie Salmon Club, of which Wayne was a charter member and one-time president, was erected. With the closing of the Bangor Hydroelectric Dam near the fishing club, the Atlantic salmon began swimming up the Penobscot River again to spawn. Wayne became an avid fly fisherman, who tied his own flies, caught several 8 to 16 lb. salmon over the years, and won several awards at the Maine Sportsman Show for his fly-tying skills.
Having completed the officer training course at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Wayne served as a police officer from 1980 to 1986 on the, then, part-time Veazie Police Department, where, beyond simply writing speeding tickets, he used his detective skills to solve several robberies.
In 1988, Wayne designed and surveyed 25-acres of property he owned in Veazie and created the housing subdivision known as Buck Hill.
In the early 90s, Wayne’s spare time was spent building a family camp on Brewer Lake and adding a two-car garage onto his house.
Wayne retired from the MDOT in 2003 and spent the next several years restoring antique snowmobiles and cars, including a 1929 Ford Phaeton, and traveling with his wife around the United States.
On March 12, 2009, Wayne suffered a massive stroke, leaving his body mostly paralyzed but his mind still sharp. While living at Brewer Center for Health and Rehabilitation, Wayne was visited by many family and friends, including a group of 3 outdoorsmen from his wife’s church. As a result of numerous, varied, and difficult questions and conversations with these outdoorsmen, Wayne accepted Jesus as his Savior and became a member of New Hope Church on December 12, 2010.
Wayne spent a total of 8.5 years living at Brewer Rehab, where he was treated well by caring nurses and staff, who always made sure his TV was tuned to the New England Patriots games.
Wayne is survived by his wife of 52 years, Cynthia Heath, 3 children - Kristi Schell and her husband, David, of Wilmington, MA; Bryan Heath and his wife, Kerry, of Surprise, AZ; and Diana Harper and her husband, Sean, of Bangor, ME; and 5 grandchildren – Andrew, Zacharia, and Katrina Schell; and Bridget and Colin Heath.
A memorial service will be held 11am, Saturday, December 2, 2017 at New Hope Church, 1423 Ohio Street, Bangor. Donations in memory of Wayne may be made to the New Hope Church Benevolent Fund, 157 Park St., Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.