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Obituaries » John Wayland

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of John Scott Meredith Wayland, 90, of Warrenton. After a long and lingering illness, he left this ever changing world on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, returning into the arms of God and his ancestors.

To us, and many more, John was an inspiration. He was a kind, honest man with a compassionate heart that showed him right from wrong and led him to dedicate his life to serving others. He was a “friendly face” and couldn't go anywhere without running into someone he knew.

John was born July 25, 1930, in Crozet, Va. He was the youngest son of Fred G. Wayland Sr. and Sarah Clarke Meredith Wayland.

The family moved to Hume when he was 18 months old. Through the years, the family would return to Crozet to help with the harvests at Wayland Orchard owned by his uncle George Bourne Wayland. Some of the happiest times of his childhood were the years they lived at Fairfield Farm, when his father was the farm manager for Baroness Johanna von Reininghaus Lambert of Belgium. However, it is there that he watched his black friends walk to school while he was allowed to ride the bus. That stung his heart, stayed with him for life and was the motivation to offer a hand up, especially to those who didn’t deserve poor treatment and discrimination because of their skin color.

After graduating from Randolph-Macon Academy, John earned a B.S. in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech in 1959. He took a break during his college education to serve in the U.S. Army as a military policeman at Fort Monroe, Va. From the late 1950s to early 1960s, John traveled around the state, first as a meat inspector and then as a dairy inspector.

In 1963, John returned to Warrenton to work in the family business, Wayland Ford Tractor, and eventually took it over from his father. He became “the tractor man.” His CB handle was “Big Blue,” and the color green, which represented Ford’s competitor, wasn’t to be found anywhere in his home or wardrobe for decades. Even the kitchen counters sported a bright blue in the family home on Airlie Road. Wayland Ford was the place where kids had fond memories of running around the lot or sitting on monster tractors when their parents ran errands for tractor parts. John was often spotted in snowstorms, plowing out his neighbors’ driveways. During the snowstorm of 1982, he plowed his way through town in the largest tractor, with the family piled into the cab, up to Marshall and out Route 688 to dig out his parents.

John was a true man of integrity, devoted to civic life and community service. John served as one of the original directors of the Fauquier Community Action Committee from 1965 until 1985. With Roland Tapscott and Max Tufts Sr., he in 1968 formed Fauquier Housing Inc. (now Foothills Housing Corp.) to meet a growing need for affordable housing, with the goal of ensuring every home had indoor plumbing in a still segregated Fauquier County. The organization expanded into five additional counties. Foothills still provides healthy, affordable rental housing, repairs and builds houses for low- to moderate-income families and helps with financial counseling.

For more than five decades, John was very active in the community, serving as president and a board member of the Leeds Ruritan Club and the Warrenton Ruritan Club, president of the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, president of the Kiwanis Club, a Sunday School teacher at St. Andrews Mission, a director of the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County and a life member of the Warrenton Jaycees.

John volunteered thousands of hours at fundraisers, including calling bingo games at the Warrenton Armory on weekends for Kiwanis Club, working at the annual Hume barbecue and jousting tournament for the Ruritan Club and parking cars at the annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival at Sky Meadows State Park. In September 1989, when Hurricane Hugo devasted much of South Carolina, John went on the radio to ask for donations to help folks there, and the community responded, donating supplies that filled two tractor-trailers driven there overnight as part of the massive relief effort.

His service earned many honors, including The Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce 1990 Business Person of the Year Award, a Certificate of Public Recognition from the American Legion and The Tom Downing Fellow from the Ruritan National Foundation in 2019 — the one that touched him the most. Foothills Housing Corp. in 2017 rededicated The Oaks I Building in Warrenton, with 96 apartments, to him and to Mr. Tufts.

John is survived by his loving family, wife Malinda Isley Wayland, and daughter Janet Wayland of Arlington, his nephew Scott Wayland (Karolanne), numerous great nieces and nephews, and cousins Rev. David Wayland (Ginny) of Charlottesville and Bobby Nelson of Lynchburg.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his brother Fred G. Wayland Jr. (Barbara) and niece Elizabeth Wayland.

Friends are encouraged to share remembrances at www.moserfuneralhome. The family may select some to share at the private graveside service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the charity of your choice.

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billychip3 · October 6, 2020 at 12:05 pm
I had the pleasure to work on the real estate holdings at Wayland Corner over the last few years with Mr. & Mrs Wayland. It was always a pleasure to talk to John on the phone but most often he would stop in the office to catch up and he would fill me in on the history of Warrenton and Wayland Corner but, invariably, he would always ask how I and my family were doing and always genuinely interested in my responses. I will miss those times and John.
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