The Weekly Vista

Wayne Jerol Hubbert

Sept. 12, 1933 Feb. 13, 2023


Wayne Jerol Hubbert was an Army veteran, husband of 69 years, father of three, grandfathe­r of four and great grandfathe­r of two. He passed away peacefully at the age of 89 on February 13, 2023 in Houston, Texas, with family and hospice clergy at his side.

Wayne was born in 1933 in Downers Grove, Illinois, the youngest of Foster and Sadie Hubbert, and brother to Gordon, Doug and Carol. Upon graduating from Downers Grove Community High School, where he met the love of his life Joanne, Wayne worked and then was drafted. During a short leave of absence from the Army, Wayne came home to marry Joanne at the First United Methodist Church in Downers Grove on December 26, 1953. He was honorably discharged in 1955 with the Korean Korea Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

In 1959 Wayne graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Economics and two children. He moved his family to the Chicago suburbs, where he and Joanne had their third child. Wayne held jobs in purchasing, sales and eventually safety management. Wherever he worked, Wayne was “all in.” He retired from his position as Director of Risk Control & Safety at Hudson Foods in Rogers, Arkansas in 1998. As a nature and fitness proponent Wayne insisted that the family adhere to President Kennedy’s Fitness Plan and he loved to take the family on trips to sleep in a tent, hike and cook over a campfire.

Retirement for Wayne was filled with the grandkids, projects around the house, a lot of golf, church activities, and volunteer work. Seeing the grandkids was a priority for Wayne, and they have fond memories of playing games, outdoor outings, fishing and later just telling stories. He always knew what they were doing and their aspiration­s. Wherever Joanne and Wayne were church members, Wayne enthusiast­ically participat­ed, from leading shepherd groups to setting up chairs. For Wayne, there was no church membership without the word “active” in front of it. Wayne’s good works – a medical mission trip to Haiti with Grace United Methodist Church, volunteer hours at Habitat for Humanity, Benton County Courthouse and Bentonvill­e Hospital, and serving as mentor to many in AA – inspired in Wayne empathy for people that enriched his life and those around him.

Wayne especially loved volunteeri­ng at Crystal Bridges Museum. He learned much about art and loved the interactio­n with other volunteers and visitors to the museum.

In 2021, Wayne and Joanne moved to Conroe, TX to be closer to their daughters. Although Wayne could no longer be active, he lived each day with Psalm 118:24 in mind – “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” All who knew Wayne will miss his optimism and love.

Wayne is preceded in death by son Mark. Wayne is survived by his wife Joanne; his children Melinda (JC) in Houston; Meredith (Dr. Ken Kassabian) in Conroe; and his grandchild­ren Clay Nickens (Dr. Ashley Nickens), Chris Kassabian (Morgan), Cole Kassabian, and Kate Kassabian, and great grandchild­ren Caroline and James Kassabian, sister-in-law Elizabeth Hubbert and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebratio­n of Life at Bella Vista United Methodist Church on April 1, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. with Reverend Ron Hayes and Reverend Brenda Widener officiatin­g. A reception at the church will immediatel­y follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bella Vista United Methodist Church, Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonvill­e, Arkansas, or the charity of your choice.

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