Legend of Wrestling has passed away about six hours ago of cancer leaving behind beloved family members.
Wayne Heuett of Kelso, beloved husband, father, and brother, passed away from cancer at the age of 65 at the Hospice Care Center.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Myrtle (Wilks) Heuett; and his brothers, Gary and Larry Heuett.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Phyllis; a sister, Dorothy Mickelsen of Puget Island; a brother, Max Heuett (Sandie) of Vancouver; a son, Adam Heuett of St. Paul, Minn.; a daughter, Samantha Koehnke (Bryan) of Scio, Ore.; four grandchildren, Audrey, Jacob, Abby, and Claire; numerous nieces and nephews; and his lifelong friends, John Neugebauer and Phillip Brink.
Wayne was born Aug. 19, 1953, in Spokane. While attending Ferris High School in Spokane he wrestled at the 175 lb. weight class and developed a lifelong love of wrestling. He went on to wrestle in college until he was injured. This led to a career as a wrestling coach and collegiate, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling referee.
Wayne graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1976 with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in education. He met his wife, Phyllis, while attending Eastern and they were married on May 31, 1975, in Colton, Wash. Wayne later completed a master’s degree in education from the University of Portland.
His first teaching job was in Simms, Mont., where he taught math and science and also coached wrestling. After a year in Montana, Wayne and Phyllis moved back to Spokane where Wayne taught at Gonzaga Prep and continued to coach. In 1979 they moved to Kelso where Wayne taught at Castle Rock High School for the next 37 years before retiring in 2016. Even after retirement, Wayne missed teaching; he truly loved working with kids. Wayne also coached wrestling at Castle Rock, where he and Jim Bair led the Rockets to two separate State Championships. Wayne’s coaching and refereeing careers took him across the country and internationally to Canada, Mexico, and Germany.
During his teaching career, he became fascinated with fractals and attended a conference on the subject at the Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory in New Jersey. Wayne and his students built one of the largest, three-dimensional models of the Sierpinski Triangle, which was featured in The Daily News. Wayne was an active member of the Castle Rock Education Association serving as vice president and president of the union during his many years there. In his free time, Wayne enjoyed camping, fishing, downhill skiing, and reading Sci-Fi novels. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor and his desire to help his students learn.
Wayne’s funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Friday at St. Rose Catholic Church in Longview, with a reception immediately following at 12:15 p.m. in the Parish Center. He will be buried in Spokane.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN), Castle Rock Wrestling Program, or a youth organization of your choice.