A Celebration of Life for Felix Wayne Blanton will be held at 10 am on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Trinity Baptist Church in High Rolls, NM. There will be a potluck lunch at Trinity immediately following the service. Interment will take place at 2 pm at the Pinon Cemetery. There will be refreshments at the Pinon Community Center following.
Wayne (K5ONE) passed away on March 17, 2023 at 3:40 am, which is interesting since that was his normal time to get out of bed! He was born on November 18,1938 in Lampasas, TX. His family was living in San Saba, TX. His father, AJ, was an auto mechanic and they, AJ and Jonnie Mae, ran a very popular restaurant together in the town square. He was named Felix after Jonnie Mae’s brother who was killed in his P-38 during WW 2. AJ became a movie theatre manager and they were transferred to many cities in Texas including Llano, Waelder, Gonzales, and Crane. Wayne met several movie stars and even rode Gene Autry’s wonder horse, Champion. They moved to High Rolls, NM in 1954 when Wayne was 14. He graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1957 and attended New Mexico State University, graduating with a BS in 1965. He taught school in Weed, NM 1965-1967. Wayne and Janie were married on December 23, 1966 in La Mesa, NM. There was no teaching position available for Janie at Weed so they applied for and accepted positions on Guam Island. They enjoyed a 4-year honeymoon on a tropical island and traveled the Orient. Twin boys, Scott Aaron and Allen Wesley, were born to them on Guam in 1971. They returned Stateside soon after and Wayne taught at Alamogordo Middle School and Heights Elementary. During his teaching career Wayne was able to teach elementary, math, physics, chemistry, gymnastics, and drafting. After teaching for a few years, it was time for a career change. Wayne and Janie had always been “church goers.” Guam had no church of their denomination, so they looked around and found a Baptist church nearby. They were invited to a Bible study called “The Gospel According to Peanuts.“ They were hooked. They then studied Romans. Wayne accepted Jesus as his Savior soon after and was baptized in the Philippine Sea. He was teaching Sunday School the next Sunday and was asked to preach when the pastor was off island one Sunday. Soon after, they both felt strong calls to missions. They submitted to the call, applied to be appointees with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board and began their adventure on the mission field in Belize in 1980. He loved the people and the country very much and still considered Belize home. The people were always considered his family. One favorite memory was when Wayne led the debriefings after short-term missions teams would complete their assignments. He encouraged them to hold on to their enthusiasm for the Lord even when the people at home were not as excited as those returning. Wayne and Janie arrived back in the states after serving for 15 years. Wayne pastored several churches and drove the High Rolls school bus before retiring. He and Janie faithfully served together in the Mountain Valley Baptist Association teaching English as a second language to adults in Alamogordo. Wayne taught the citizenship classes right up until he got sick just after Christmas. During the last couple of weeks in the hospital, he and Janie celebrated their monthly anniversary with their customary box of Cracker Jacks. His passion for soul winning was evident until the day he passed away as he talked to the nurses about Jesus and heaven and the hope he had, even while he was in pain and struggling to breathe. During one of the last days he was able to talk on the phone, he talked to several of his friends about the Lord and prayed with them. Wayne was always an encourager to those around him, especially to others in ministry. He was a faithful husband, loving and proud father, teacher, pastor, great friend, and avid ham radio operator who cherished the friendships and people in his life. He was at peace and eager to meet His Savior. We can only imagine the joy he is experiencing now that he has achieved the moment for which he lived most of his life!
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Gayle. He is survived by Janie, his wife of 56 years, 2 months, and 23 days; sons, Scott Blanton, Allen Blanton (Gretchen); an adopted son, Val Gonzalez; two adopted daughters, Marlenie Gonzalez, and Jincy Gage (Gary); grandsons, Alexander and Jacob Blanton, and by Josh and Danny Gonzalez; granddaughters, Aimee Gonzalez, Marion Da, Gari Ann, and Zaylee Gage; and multiple nieces and nephews.
The services will be officiated by pastors Steve Fambrough and Billy Tucker. Pall bearers are Jim Wilkey, Randy Bonnell, Jesse Baker, David Dalton, Shalom Fernandez, Arden Lewis, George Stone, and Gary Gage.
Honorary pall bearers are Gilbert Evans, Tom Coburn, Don Bonnell, Tom Hence, Glen Hensley, Tommy Hatfield, and the ham radio operators he was in contact with every day.
Thank you to all who visited him in the hospital or called him on the phone. You brightened his last days!
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Baptist Church, PO Box 67, High Rolls, NM, 88325. Half of the donations received will benefit Trinity Baptist Church and the other half will be sent to the churches Wayne and Janie planted in Belize.
The Blanton family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Scenic Chapel to direct services.
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