“I remember when I was young…” The six, simple words that often began Wayne’s stories. He always had a story to share and the fact that his memory was like an old safe, didn’t hurt either. Wayne was very sociable and if you got him talking about cars, watch out! However, most ended with a good laugh! His storytelling and big heart will be missed by many!
Wayne Dennis was born on Saturday, June 25, 1949, to parents Irving and Annie (Cooke) Keyes. The family resided in the hamlet of Glammis, where he joined older brother Bob (1940) and William “Roger” (1942). The boys later welcomed their younger sister Joyce in 1951 and later went on to attend S.S. #16 in Glammis. Like many of us, school was not for Wayne, and he never pursued high school but instead headed out to the real world.
Wayne found work with McGraw-Edison in Port Elgin, where he helped construct and paint transformers. Following several years there, he took a job with Dewar, an asbestos removal company, whereby he traveled the province completing jobs. By this time, Wayne had relocated and called Chesley home. Years later, Wayne suffered a severe heart attack, at the age of 46, which no longer allowed him to work. Sadly, this was just the beginning, as several other health challenges followed.
Wayne loved any classic car or truck… well maybe I shouldn’t say that! I am told it took him years to be convinced to sit in ANY Ford, as he was a General Motors man through and through. All joking aside, Wayne thoroughly enjoyed attending and participating in local car shows, with Kincardine and Chesley’s being favourites. When rolling in he would always be sitting behind the wheel of his beloved 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix. For the next few hours, Wayne would take in the many unique and classic cars while enjoying conversation with many of the owners. When not attending car shows, Wayne enjoyed visiting “the boys” – Ron, Kevin, and Austin Findlay, at the factory in Scone when they were working on the stock cars. He would often sit and supervise from his lawn chair, and was always willing to share his advice, whether they needed it or not! 🙂 When up for it, Wayne liked traveling to Sauble Speedway and watching Kevin race, and in later years, his great-nephew Austin. He was their “uncle” fan! Wayne’s passion for cars didn’t end there as he spent countless hours entertaining and educating himself on YouTube. He would watch anything and everything related to fixing cars. It definitely wasn’t the same as his younger years when he was very hands-on and did all the bodywork and painting himself, but given his situation, it was the second-best thing.
Family was extremely important to Wayne. He enjoyed family functions, but he liked them a little bit better if there was good food. 🙂 Wayne always offered to help where he could and always said, “Yes.” He enjoyed spoiling his niece and nephew greatly, and then when they had their own children, he spoiled them too! He was a good-hearted, happy soul!
Unfortunately, in recent years Wayne’s health worsened and he began receiving dialysis treatments in 2016. Thankfully, in time, he was able to receive his treatments in Hanover, and with his many visits, the nurses and staff soon became an extension of Wayne’s life and family. Even with his many health challenges, Wayne always was in good spirits and made the best of each day.
Sadly, Wayne passed away suddenly at home on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in his 74th year.
Loving brother of Joyce (Ron) Findlay of Scone and Roger Keyes of Inverhuron. Cherished uncle of Kevin (Jody) Findlay, and great-uncle to Savannah Findlay, Austin Findlay, and Olivia Denomy. Wayne was predeceased by his niece Cheryl Findlay, brother Bob Keyes and his parents Irving and Annie (Cooke) Keyes.
Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home on Saturday, April 15, 2023, from 12 noon until the time of the memorial service at 1 p.m. Inurnment in Purdy Cemetery, Greenock Township.
Memorial donations to Chesley Hospital Foundation or Hanover & District Hospital Foundation (Dialysis Unit) would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.