How do you introduce a man lost too soon to a city who knows him as the ‘missing construction worker’ on the news? You simply try to do the best you can. When the show is over and the credits roll you get to see all the parts you played in life. Wayne Self was a little rebel but a whole lot of hero. He was a great teacher but always a student, a driller and earth mover, a fabricator, a welder, a framer, calloused hands with a tender touch, an amazing father promoted to Grandfather and a man in love with his best friend. These are only a few of the things that come to mind when I hear his name.
The most important thing in life is family and it meant everything to Wayne. He raised five children that he taught to love others, show kindness and always be willing to help the other man. He was the shoulder his daughters leaned on and the mechanic always teaching his boys the way around a truck. The saying is true a father is a daughter’s first love and a son’s first hero. Unfortunately even Superman must hang up his cape. The strong foundation he built with his kids is now shared with his five grandchildren. Wayne built his empire with his best friend by his side. Together they experienced unexpected loss of loved ones, a battle against breast cancer, among many other trials but it was no match for the love and friendship they had with each other. They truly were partners in crime.
Mr. Self you were also an amazing son, big brother, a trusted coworker, a loyal friend until the end and an appointed God father. You were a great conversation over a cold barley pop, a firm hand shake and gave the most amazing hugs. Not a hug where you felt it was a friendly gesture but a hug where you knew you were loved. You were selfless to the very last breath- quite literally. When the hole began to give way you yelled to your coworkers to get out of harm’s way. You were more worried about their safety instead of your own. You were easy to love and even the police, detectives, firemen and rescue personnel found a connection with you. They never left you alone during their search. For four days they battled unsafe grounds to find you. Two firemen stayed with you every night because they couldn’t bare you being alone. When you were finally located the firemen saw the tattoo of the flag on your arm. They thought the best way to respect you would be to carry you out with the red, white and blue draped over your body.
There are dangers in construction but none of us could predict a tragedy like this. You are gone too soon, like leaving the stage in the middle of your song. We will never understand why the story had to go this way. I like to think that God takes the purest of souls to lead his army of angels. You are in a place far greater than we can ever imagine. I am sure there are a few dirt roads and mountains as far as the eye can see. We bet the fishing is great but we hope that monster cat fish puts up a good fight. What we do know for sure is you’re drilling holes in the floor of heaven to make sure you can look down on us.
This was created due to the overwhelming request for people who want to donate towards the family. For those of you who find it in your heart to do so we appreciate you for your loving generosity. The response has been overwhelming and we are blessed for all the kind words. Thank you for the detectives, EMTs, firemen who took part in bringing our Wayne home to us. You showed great compassion and became like family to us. Thank you for the prayers for they are what keep our hearts above water. Wayne’s life was a blessing, his memory a treasure, he was loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure.
*Account created by his fiance's sister by request of the family. All money raised will be going to the Self family directly. Shannon B will be collecting funds in her name. Shannon is Wayne's fiance*