Wayne John Scholl

Wayne John Scholl

May 5, 1943 - February 8, 2001

 

Obituary

Wayne John Scholl was an amazingly talented and driven leader, husband, father, grandfather and friend with huge capacity for work and play. His zest for life was second to none.

Wayne was born in Port Washington, WI, to Walter and Margaret Scholl. Emulating his parents' moral fiber and strong work ethic, he was a model son and a wonderful big brother to his sister Jan and brother Bob. Early on, Wayne learned engineering and management skills from watching his father run the family-owned business, Scholl Lumber & Fuel.

At Port Washington High School, Wayne excelled and earned an appointment to West Point. He also met his future wife there. In 1961, during his senior year, he broke his ankle playing baseball. While hobbling around school on crutches, balancing a pile of books and trying not to be late for class, Wayne collided with a young woman, and books and crutches flew in all directions. Fortunately, they both laughed and became acquainted. Her name was Susan Bathke, and Wayne called her for a date the next day. They were married shortly after Wayne graduated from West Point and would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in June 2005.

Wayne began his illustrious 26 years in the Army Corps of Engineers assigned to the 317th Engineer Battalion near Frankfurt, Germany, following Ranger and Airborne schools. In October 1967, he was sent to Viet Nam, where he served with distinction, receiving a Bronze Star and a Bronze Star with Valor for his service there. Thirteen months later, he returned home to Wisconsin as a captain and a new father, meeting his five-month old son Brian for the first time.

Next, Wayne attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received his first master's degree, in industrial engineering. Afterwards, the family moved to Alexandria, VA, where they bought their first small house. Wayne loved any kind of do-it-yourself project and took great pride in making a house (however temporary in a transient, military career) a home. When he realized that his growing family needed more space, Wayne rolled up his sleeves and solved the problem, designing and building an addition to their home entirely by himself. From digging and pouring the foundation, to framing, electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, masonry, and everything in between, he built his castle with love, determination, and a lot of hard work.

In August 1971, Wayne and Suzie's daughter Jennifer was born at Ft. Belvoir, VA, while Wayne was assigned to the Pentagon. Brian and Jenny characterize Wayne this way: "Dad was a hardworking man and a loving father who was always there for each of us through the years. Dad put one hundred percent into everything he did, and I know that's why he had such a successful marriage and military career. He was a man of honor who held himself to the highest standards of professionalism. But beneath this professional exterior was a man who loved life and enjoyed spending time with his family." Wayne became a guiding force in his children's lives, encouraging and teaching them woodworking, computers, and engineering, among other skills. At the same time, he always respected their career choices, never forcing them into his footsteps.

To do justice to Wayne's successful Army career would take many pages. He took on numerous and varied responsibilities, from commanding troops to devising Army-wide personnel policies, programs, and budgets. He did civil works planning, design, and construction for the Corps of Engineers, planned and implemented base closures, and developed environmental policies. During his career, he received many awards and commendations, including four Legions of Merit.

Wayne's many glowing successes caused him to have very high expectations for himself. While waiting for his first star, he was selected to be an Army Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution. There, he became interested in environmental cleanup solutions and how the Army Corps of Engineers could implement them. He put his ideas to work on Army bases around the country as the Forces Command engineer under GEN Colin Powell, and later as the chief of environmental restoration in the Corps headquarters on Capitol Hill. In his spare time, Wayne earned his second master's degree. This one was in environmental engineering from George Washington University.

Wayne's star never came. Being an Army man through and through, his disappointment was obvious, but in typical fashion, he set out to be the best civilian environmental engineer. In 1991, he retired from the Army and began winning government clean-up contracts for two major engineering companies. He then formed his own corporation, Wayne Scholl Enterprises, Inc. Sometimes he seemed to have 28 hours in his day! Despite hours of hard work, he always had quality time for his family. He was completely involved with every need of his children as they were growing up and planned special "family togetherness" times with childlike enthusiasm. Wayne clearly recognized the really important things in life.

In 1991, Wayne watched with pride as Brian graduated with a degree in business management from California State University, Sacramento. In 1994, "Daddy's little girl" became "Daddy's little engineer" when Jenny received a degree in architectural engineering from Cal Poly. In 1997, there were tears in his eyes as Jenny married Mike Cassity in a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the island of Oahu, HI, and Suzie thought he would burst with pride and love upon the birth of Jenny and Mike's first child, his first grandchild, Emma in 1999.

On 8 Feb 2001, Wayne suffered an untimely death. In only 57 years, he enjoyed accomplishments, family time, and fun that few of us ever achieve. His family and friends miss him terribly.

"And when our work is done; our course on earth is run; may it be said 'Well done; be thou at peace.'" Wayne, WELL DONE, partner! The drive is over. You can relax now. Be at peace.


Tributes and Memories

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