Wayne B. Winebrenner
Wayne and Dorothy "Dottie" Winebrenner cut the cake at their wedding on Oct. 30, 1954. (Submitted photo / August 17, 2013)
Whether close to home or on the road to places such as Myrtle Beach, S.C., or at an Orioles game in Baltimore, his family said he always was bumping into acquaintances.
Wayne’s life was characterized by his commitment to community — whether as a U.S. Marine serving in the Korean War, working his way up the ranks of the Maryland correctional system, as town manager for several small towns, or coordinating community projects through church and the many organizations with which he was involved.
“He was all about community,” said son Richard “Rick” Winebrenner of Martinsburg, W.Va.
Dorothy “Dottie” Winebrenner, who was married to Wayne for almost 59 years, said he was easygoing, but could be stern when he needed to be.
“He was patient and supportive,” said daughter Kim Winebrenner of Hagerstown.
Wayne grew up in Woodsboro, Md., and after his father’s death from tuberculosis when Wayne was 5, he was raised by his grandparents and aunts and uncles, of whom he had fond memories.
“He loved talking about his childhood,” Rick said.
After Wayne graduated from Walkersville (Md.) High School in 1951, he and a friend debated what the next step should be. More on a whim than with much thought, they decided to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Following basic training, Wayne’s friend went to an “easy and nice” assignment in Hawaii. Wayne was sent to Korea, Dottie said.
His post-war assignment was to the Marine Barracks at 8th and I streets in Washington, D.C., which was the presidential platoon, Dottie said. She said Wayne worked on the switchboard.
Even though Dottie grew up in Sabillasville, Md., and attended some of the same sporting events as Wayne, they didn’t meet until both were working in Washington.
Dottie said the recently returned Korean War veterans were mischievous and not quick to spend money on dates.
“He was tight. All the Marines were tight. They liked to sponge off the girls,” Dottie said.
She met Wayne in the spring of 1954 and they were married Oct. 30 of that year.
Kim said the family joke is that Dottie’s father told Wayne, “If you can afford her, you can have her.”
“It worked, so what can I say. You’ve got to work hard at it. We were so busy, we didn’t know the years were passing,” Dottie said of their almost 59 years of marriage.
Four years after they were married, the Winebrenners started their family. Rick was born, followed by Kim, and the children grew up in Hagerstown.
Wayne went to school at night, earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.