J. Wayne Stephenson

Published 9:05 am Monday, August 26, 2013

CHAPEL HILL – Wayne Stephenson, 46, passed away Saturday, August 24, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Wayne is survived by his mother, June Barbour Johnson and her husband, Jerry, of Aulander; two brothers, Michael Paul Stephenson of Creedmoor, NC and Jerry Johnson, Jr. and his wife, Benya, of Wilkesboro, NC; two sisters, Tracy Herman and her three children, Jessica, Hunter, and Marly, and Shelly Erdner and her husband, Daniel, and their three children, Gabe, Christian and Jude of Timberlake, NC; a grandmother, Coleen Barbour of Durham, NC; and grandparents, Clifford and Dorothy Stephenson of Smithfield, NC.

Wayne had five uncles: Barry Barbour and his wife, Kathy, of Efland, NC; Larry Barbour of Greenville, NC; Howard Barbour and his wife, Brenda, of Durham, NC; Ronnie Wall and his wife, Sherry, of Cedar Grove, NC, and Walker Johnson and his wife, Kay, of Raleigh, NC; and two aunts, Beverly Gregory and her husband, Kenny, of Thomasville, NC, and Rita Johnson of Raleigh, NC. He is survived by many cousins: Richard Barbour and his wife, Carie, and their two children, Lawson and Dane; Brad Barbour and his wife, Bree, and their two children, Blake and Lily; Tiffany Wall, Erin Wall, Brian Johnson and family, Tim Johnson and family, Ricky Cranford and family, and Molly Alston and family.

Wayne attended Western Carolina University, Oklahoma University and UNC- Chapel Hill. He worked for 17 years as manager of Human Resources, Promotions and Purchasing at the Student Store on the UNC campus.

Wayne was a devout Christian who was a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Durham, NC. He was kind, loving and giving. He had an ear to listen, a gentle hand to help and loving heart to care being involved in the lives of others.

Wayne displayed his love for others in his faithful involvement with the UNC wrestling team over many years. He was a mentor to many of these student athletes as he tried to help them in academics and in their life choices. He photographed many of the wrestling team tournaments, home and away. His love for this team over the years produced life-long friendships.

Funeral services will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Durham, NC on Wednesday, August 28, at 11:00 a.m. by the Rev. Earl Echols. Interment will follow in the Maplewoods Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be: Keenan Duffie, Alex Maciag, Kyle Kiss, Mike Rappo, Robert McCarthy, Daniel Llamas, Nick Heilmann. Honorary pallbearers will be the UNC Wrestling Team.

Flowers are acceptable or memorial contributions may be made to UNC Hospice or UNC Wrestling Team.

Walker’s Funeral Home of Hillsborough, 204 N Churton St., Hillsborough, NC 27278 (919) 732-2121 is assisting the Stephenson Family.