Gates County mourns huge loss

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

GATESVILLE – He was a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a coach, and a church and community leader.

However, the life of Wayne Russell Hathaway was much more than what is listed above. Perhaps his greatest gift was Hathaway’s ability to share life’s many lessons, those he passed along to the young men and women that he came into contact with during his years of work as a high school teacher and coach.

Hathaway departed this life on Saturday, Nov. 11 while doing exactly what he loved to do…..teach, coach, and play basketball. On that day he had put together an alumni basketball game at Gates County High School, an event he promoted as a fundraiser for the hoops program at the school. He collapsed on the gym floor and was rushed to a hospital where he later passed away at the young age of 40.

Wayne Russell Hathaway
August 14, 1977 ~ November 11, 2017

His colleagues in the field of education are joining with his family and friends in mourning the loss of this valuable and highly respected member of Gates County Schools staff.

“The thought of his loss is being felt by colleagues, students and all of those who had the honor and pleasure of working with him,” stated the Gates County Board of Education

“Coach Wayne Hathaway’s passing is a tremendous loss for the Gates County Schools family,” said Dr. Barry Williams, Gates County Schools Superintendent. “Coach Hathaway served the students of Gates County as a teacher and a coach for eight years. He was a role model and a mentor for his students and athletes. His positive influence and the lessons he taught will live on through those he touched.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and hope they can find comfort in knowing how much he is loved. He will be missed, but forever held in our hearts,” Williams added.

“Mr. Wayne Hathaway was more than a basketball coach,” noted Tammy Boone, Assistant Superintendent. “For many of our students, he was stability, a listening ear, a counselor, a parent and a confidant. Those are things that only come from building relationships and Mr. Hathaway knew how to build relationships.

“We will all miss his presence in the halls of Gates County High School and on the basketball court; however, his spirit will continue to live in the hearts of all those he touched,” Boone added.

“There is no replacing a Wayne Hathaway, but his memory will live on forever in the hearts of Gates County students and staff. He was a man of few words but his actions spoke volume about his character, personality, and love for children and students of all ages and ability,” noted Chante Jordan, Director of EC/Student Services.

GCHS Principal Jonathan Hayes stressed that Hathaway embodied the true sense of the word coach.

“He understood the importance of mentoring the young people of Gates County and set the example through his actions, not just his words,” Hayes said. “He taught the students and athletes to be responsible and accountable for their actions and words. His compassion and patience made it easy for him to work with our students and athletes.”

“Mr. Hathaway was a dedicated educator, coach and mentor to many students at GCHS and he will be deeply missed greatly missed by students and staff,” stated GCHS Guidance Counselor Joan Bundy.

Hathaway’s fellow coaches at GCHS spoke of his dedication to school and community.

“Wayne was not just dedicated to athletes, he was dedicated to this school, and this entire community. The positive impact he has had on a countless number of people is immeasurable,” said Matt Biggy, GCHS Head Football Coach.

Wayne Hathaway was a great coach, teacher, and friend,” said GCHS Head Baseball Coach Jacob Harrell. “He made Gates County High School as well as his community a better place. Coach Hathaway will be remembered as a great man who was caring and dedicated to everything he was involved in and never put himself first. He will be greatly missed by our community.

“We had many conversations in Flight School about our students, and it often ended with his notion that somebody has to teach them to appreciate what they have, while encouraging them to want more. He cared for his students and players more than they will ever know. I could go on for days,” stated Cindy Barber, Professional Educator.

Hathaway, at the young age of 40, did indeed touch many lives during his short time on Earth.

He was educated in the Gates County Public School System, graduating with the class of 1995. He was a faithful parishioner at New Middle Swamp Missionary Baptist Church where he was a member of the male chorus.  He was a member of Jephthah Masonic Lodge #174 located in Gatesville, as well as a Shriner.

Hathaway served as a teacher’s assistant in the Exceptional Children Department, but he is better known as being the Head Coach of the Red Barons varsity boys basketball team. It was through this position he touched so many lives.

He was also was a co-founding member of Nexx II Nun MC where he served as Vice President.

Left to cherish his wonderful memories are his wife of 15 years, Monica A. Hathaway; three daughters, Audriana M. Hathaway, Amaria N. Hathaway, and Aniaya M. Hathaway, all of the home; his parents, Ronald and Gail H. Rodgers of Gates; two sisters; five brothers; three special brothers, two sister-in-laws, six aunts; eight uncles; nine nieces; three nephews; and a host of in-laws, cousins and friends.

A celebration of his life was held on Sunday, November 19 in the new gym at the high school….a place where he spent so much of his time helping to mold and shape the lives of young men. Burial followed at the New Middle Swamp Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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