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August 27, 2019

Ruritan veteran still giving, expects nothing in return

Photo/Don Del Rosso
John Wayland recalls watching African-American students walking to school in Hume while he road the bus.
He is just one of those people who is tireless. He just keeps giving and never expects anything in return, other than good results for the effort he’s putting in for other people.
— Leeds Ruritan Club member Peter Carp
John Wayland
• Age: 89

• Home: Warrenton

• Work: President, Wayland Ford Tractor, Warrenton, until 1992 when he closed the family-owned business at Lee Highway and Blackwell Road 40 years after his father established it.

• Family: Wife, Malinda; daughter

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, dairy science, Virginia Tech, 1957; Randolph Macon Academy, 1948.

• Military service: Army, 1953-55.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
After more than 55 years of service, the Leeds Ruritan Club veteran decided to move on.

“I felt like I was old enough to quit,” said John Wayland, 89. “And, it got to be too much distance (about 19 miles) to travel from Warrenton at night” to club meetings at the Leeds Episcopal Church parish hall north of Hume.

Mr. Wayland estimated he has attended close to 1,000 Leeds Ruritan meetings since 1963. He went to his last in December.

Off and on for five-plus decades, Mr. Wayland held various club positions, including president, vice president and treasurer. They required him to attend monthly membership and board meetings.

“I didn’t miss many,” he said. “I was almost always there. They could count on me being present.”

In a July 11 proclamation, the county board of supervisors acknowledged Mr. Wayland’s “retirement” from the Leeds Ruritan Club and his volunteer work for various other local groups, including the Kiwanis Club, the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County and the Foothills Housing Corp.

> Proclamation at bottom of story

About a year ago, he received Ruritan National’s highest honor — the Tom Downing Fellowship Award.

“John, in one word, is an inspiration,” Leeds Ruritan Club board member Peter Carp said. “He is just one of those people who is tireless. He just keeps giving and never expects anything in return, other than good results for the effort he’s putting in for other people.”

Mr. Carp added: “He’s a rare gentleman.”

Mr. Wayland joined the Leeds club because he grew up near Hume, wanted to give back to the community and had strong family ties to it. His father and three uncles helped establish the organization almost 70 years ago.

“It went by pretty quick,” Mr. Wayland said of his years with the club. “They kind of flew by.”

Though he misses the Leeds members, he still belongs to the Warrenton Ruritan Club, which he joined 30 years ago.

He remains active with Warrenton club because, “I enjoy the fellowship, and I’m meeting a lot of new people.”

Mr. Wayland’s public service work extends to the early 1960s when he helped found Fauquier Community Action, which focused on helping the poor, many of them African-Americans, in segregated Fauquier County.

The organization soon grew into the independent Fauquier Housing Corp. It eventually expanded to nine other counties and renamed itself Foothills Housing Corp., based in Warrenton.

His father opened Wayland Ford Tractor in 1952 in Warrenton. The son eventually took over the business, which at peak employed about 23 people.

His Fauquier Community Action efforts probably hurt the family business, Mr. Wayland said.

But, he accepted that as the price of doing the right thing.

“People probably called me a n_ _ _ _ _-lover and called me all kinds of stuff,” he said. “I don’t give a damn about that. Names don’t mean anything to me.”

Mr. Wayland, who lived on a Hume farm where he played with African-American children whose parents had worked the land, witnessed discrimination first-hand.

While white students took buses to school, African-American children walked miles to the classroom, he recalled.

“I got so irritated with that,” Mr. Wayland said with an edge to his voice. “School buses wouldn’t pick them up, and that burned me up. . . . They were great little kids.”

Tapping his head and heart, he added: “Skin color has nothing to do with what’s up here and inside the body.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

John Wayland proclamation 0... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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