Cover photo for Wayne Francis Westerlind's Obituary

Wayne Francis Westerlind

May 1, 1960 — February 17, 2024

Reno

Wayne Francis Westerlind

On Saturday, February 17th, Wayne Francis Westerlind, a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather, passed away after a five-year fight with cancer. He was sixty-three years old. Born to William Sr. and Patricia Westerlind, Wayne grew up with his three brothers, Bill, Kevin, and Stephen, in Auburn, Massachusetts. Wayne reminisced happily upon his childhood, often remarking to his own children about the wonders of growing up as he did. He worked the local paper route, escaped the ferocious mouths of snapping turtles at the nearby ponds, and was a loyal patron of Ronnie’s for their fried clams. He attended Framingham State University and Worcester State University and earned an Associate’s Degree in Economics and soon thereafter worked for Puma, the athletics brand. He worked his way up from shipping clerk all the way to operations manager, where he managed the warehouse for the West Coast, landing him in Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World.

It was in Reno, at the Hacienda del Sol, where Wayne would meet his future wife, Darla. After many dates at the Japanese steak house and walks around Virginia Lake, Wayne and Darla married on October 5th, 1986. They would raise five daughters together, Kari, Kristy, Kacie, Kourtney, and Kylie.

When Puma suddenly sold to new owners and downsized their operations, Wayne decided to pursue a different career as a deputy sheriff at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (much to the surprise of his brothers, who were witness to and fellow accomplices in his adolescent antics). He received many accolades during his career, including helping lead youth programs like Project Walkabout, facilitating counter-terrorism efforts, and receiving a promotion to Sergeant. After dedicating 26 years of service to the Sheriff’s Office, he retired in early 2016.

Despite encountering his cancer diagnosis two years after his retirement, he didn’t let it stop him from enjoying his life. He attended countless basketball games for his grandchildren, cheered from the sidelines for long distance running races in the freezing cold, and continued to stay up until early dawn to wrap Christmas presents for his family. He found new ways to express his creativity through building wood tables, crafting wooden rings, and experimenting with resin materials. A lover of traveling to new places, he and his wife explored Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, and visited several U.S. National Parks. Yet they often returned to their favorite place, Cape Cod, where they enjoyed staying at the local inns, eating seafood and splurging on ice cream cones, and spent hours watching the waves crash on the seashore.

He is survived by his mother, his three brothers, his wife, his five daughters, and his five grandchildren, Addison, Wyatt, Gage, Gatlon, and Briggs. A private ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 17th, in Reno, Nevada where Wayne made his home. A celebration of life in Massachusetts will occur later this year in May. Please consider making a donation in Wayne’s name to one of these organizations: A Cure in Sight for Ocular Melanoma, the Rare Cancer Research Foundation, and the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation.
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