Wayne was born July 22, 1928 in DeKalb, IL to Clayton and Esther (Lund) Cruise. He passed away peacefully at Rush Copley Hospital on August 29, 2023. He was 95 years old. Wayne was the first of nine children. He attended DeKalb Grade School and graduated from DeKalb High School in 1946 earning several agricultural awards.
Wayne grew up on a farm. He was a member (upper 2%) of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). He was employed by the DeKalb Agriculture Association first in Esmond, IL in 1946 (3 years) and later in Illiopolis, IL (3 years) as department head of the world’s largest poultry breeding farm (60 employees and 600,000 laying chickens).
Wayne loved flying. At the age of seventeen, he purchased an airplane, which he flew for several years. From 1947 to 1950, Wayne served as Staff Sergeant of the Sycamore, IL National Guard.
Wayne married Dolores Knighton on May 5, 1949. In 1952, they started farming in Somonauk, IL. Wayne earned the DeKalb County Outstanding Young Farmer Award in 1959. In 1961, they moved to the Dailey Farm on Route 34 where he farmed and fed cattle and pigs. After fifty-four years, Wayne retired from farming in 1994 and moved to Sunflower Estates in Yorkville, IL in 2005.
Wayne was a member of the DeKalb Agriculture Association (6 years), DeKalb County Farm Bureau (10 years), Kendall County Farm Bureau (52 years) and Charter Member of the Kendall Count Livestock Feeders Association serving as President, Vice-President and Secretary.
Wayne loved farming, camping, traveling with family and friends, dining out and collecting coins. He visited forty-five states, Canada and Mexico with forty-six vacations to Hawaii. He also traveled to foreign countries seeing Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Wayne is survived by his loving wife, Dolores (Knighton), of 74 years; his three children Gloria (John) Carlson of Las Vegas, NV; Connie McMahon of Naperville, IL; Debra (Mike) Cookas of Plainfield, IL; daughter-in-law Nancy (Dave) Cruise of Orland Park, IL; grandchildren Eric (Myha) Ginger of St. Charles, IL, James (Brittany) Cookas of Chicago, IL; Christina Cookas of Winter Park, FL; Allison (Drew) Phillips of Northfield, IL; David Cruise of Orland Park, IL; Lauren (Mike) Jahn of Chicago, IL; Danielle Cruise of Chicago, IL; four great grandchildren Dorothea Hinton of Winter Park, FL; Eleanor and Henry Phillips of Northfield, IL; William Jahn of Chicago, IL; two brothers John (Bea) Cruise of Ohio, IL and James Cruise of Murfreesboro, TN; several nieces and nephews.
Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, two sons Dale and Dave; three sisters Joyce, Marilyn and Phyllis; three brothers George, Carl and Robert; two sisters-in-law Gayle (George) and Cindy (James); brother-in-law William Davis (Phyllis); son-in-law Edward McMahon (Connie).
Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 10th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. followed by a memorial service at the Nelson Funeral Home & Crematory located at 1617 Bridge Street in Yorkville, IL. Interment will be held at the Elmwood Cemetery located at 599 W. Somonauk Street in Yorkville, IL at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations may be made to the Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, 409 Center Parkway, Yorkville, IL 60560.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Homes, www.NelsonFuneralHomes.com or (630) 553-7611.