Gilbert “Wayne” Waldeck, of Mesa, Arizona, passed away on March 10, 2023 at the age of 94. Wayne was born April 30, 1928 in Riverside, California. He was preceded in death by his parents L.D. “Jack” Waldeck and Velda Florence Parker Waldeck, his sister Margaret “Peggy” Whitaker and his wife of 48 years, Evelyn L. Long Waldeck.
He is survived by his six children, Gary (Donna), Roger (Barbara), Roland (Robin), Sherree, Vickie Basar, Greg (Lisa) and two step-daughters Rae Jean Robinson (Bob) and Georgia Herman (Earl).
Wayne’s childhood was spent in Arizona on his family’s dairy farm. He returned to Riverside to attend high school where he joined the ROTC program, and upon graduation, enlisted in the Army Air Corp, which changed during his enlistment, to the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force, Wayne was one of its first jet engine mechanics and was assigned to Eddie Rickenbacher’s 94th Aero Squadron. He was stationed at March Air Force base in Southern California and later transferred to Elmendorf AFB, in Anchorage, Alaska. There, he tested the P80 Shooting Star fighter jets in subzero temperatures.
Wayne owned a General Contracting business, building and remodeling homes in the Phoenix area and in the White Mountains, where he and Evelyn spent their summers after retirement. He loved to play golf, had a “hole in one” and passed his interest in the sport to some, but not all, of his kids.
Wayne enjoyed fishing and boating, spending many days on Arizona’s lakes. He and Evelyn loved traveling the country and drove their motor home from California to Alaska and to New York and Tennessee. They put a lot of miles on the motor home over twenty years of traveling.
Wayne is survived by 9 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
No services are planned.
Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.