Wayne Wootan, 54

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wayne Wootan, 54, of Oregon City, Ore., formerly of Glenns Ferry, died April 27, 2006.

Wayne was born March 1, 1952, to Marvin and Dorothy Wootan. He was raised on a ranch north of Glenns Ferry, and attended school there.

After graduation from Glenns Ferry High School, Wayne married Vangie Ann Gonzales in 1970. To that union were born three children, Candice Evangeline, Wayne Lee II, and Travis Sherman.

Wayne's first job was working as a brick mason in Fruitland, Idaho. Later the family moved to Oregon City, where he spent about 15 years crafting cement retaining walls throughout the northwest.

He worked hard and eventually started his own company, Dark Horse Construction. "He was a hard-working man who was an artist and master of his craft," his family said. "Like his father, he was a jack of all trades."

Through Vangie's family Wayne became involved in the Elgin Stampede. That included skidding poles, working with stock, trail rides, chariot racing, and driving the stagecoach. He was willing to help in any way he could and loved being a part of the action.

He also was talked into helping with the Pendleton Round-Up. He helped with the parade, the Pony Express Race, Relay Race, stagecoach Race and drove the stagecoach in the Happy Canyon Pageant. "He was a natural actor. Anything he was asked to do he did well, no matter how tough," his family said.

Wayne was a western spirit. For the past 18 years he participated with his father, brother and other family and friends in the Three Island Crossing re-enactment of the crossing of the Snake river in Glenns Ferry. Wayne drove teams of oxen and horses as they forded the river. He had experience handling stock, driving wagons and bringing the wagon trains down the hillside. Wayne knew how to aim the team upstream as the animals made their way across the river. He would get the team to swim through the current, swinging the wagon behind and gradually getting to the shallow water and safely to shore.

He accomplished that feat several times without turning over the wagon as it made its way through the current to the other side.

"Wayne was a loving man," his family said, "who was kind to all he encountered. He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He was a good man who thought that family was of the utmost importance. He touched so many lives throughout his life. He will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father, brother, son and fantastic Papa."

Wayne is survived by: his wife, Vangie; daughter Candice Evangeline; sons Wayne Lee and Travis Sherman; six grandchildren; his mother, Dorothy Lee Wootan, of Glenns Ferry; brother Wesley Wootan, of Glenns Ferry; and two sisters, Marva Schwager, of Boise, and Dorothy Marie Patchin, of Spokane, Washington.

He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Carol Gene, and his father, Marvin Wayne Wootan.