Wayne Eugene Cash, age 92, passed away Thursday, October 19, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was born February 17, 1925 to Clarence and Dora Cash in Nebraska, living a hardscrabble life with his parents and sister, Elizabeth, Wayne learned at an early age that life would be hard work, but also had so much interest as well. His father built a “truckhouse” literally a wooden house on the back of a Model T Ford in 1926 and the family traveled Route 66 toward Washington state with his father seeking any work possible to sustain the family. A lifelong desire to travel was born in Wayne from that time forward.
Wayne graduated from high school and was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska; however, after one year of college, he joined the Army and was a soldier in the European theatre of WWII. On the way to war, he met and married Nancy Masten from Roxboro, NC.
Following WWII, he and Nancy became father to Linda, Paula and Carol Cash. Living in High Point, NC for many years, he owned and operated a small plumbing business to sustain the family while also being an advocate for Civil Rights and the environment. In time he moved to Charlotte and worked for a company that built the Burroughs Wellcome Drug Research Laboratories/now GSK.
He and his then wife, Hazel purchased a small parcel of land along the Eno River with a pond and many native plants. The Corps of Engineers took this land and their home to become a part of a state nature preserve, therefore he and Hazel negotiated with the oversite entity, the Botanical Gardens of UNC, Chapel Hill, to remain on the property as caregivers of 84 acres of animal and nature preserve.
Over the next 25+ years, he won numerous awards as an environmentalist, conservationist and advocate for land to always exist along rivers as well as hiking trails to exist forever for future generations of children and families to enjoy.
He was awarded the Durham City Council award for being a pivotal force in shaping the city stewardship for the environment for over a decade of gentle perseverance in land preservation. He was awarded the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District Urban/Rural Conservationist of the Year in 2000.
He was president of the Eno River Association for a term and active member for over 25 years. He was very active in the annual Eno River Festival as well. In 2011, a point near Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve along the Eno River was named “Cash Point” in honor of Wayne and Hazel Cash.
A card sent to daughter Linda, had this quote: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” His true passion was that the environment be protected and enjoyed by us and all generations to come after us. Let us hope that his legacy lives on in each of us in enjoying nature and our earth!
Upon retirement, he returned to living in a “truckhouse” or a modern RV in which he traveled the USA to see as many national parks as possible, as many historic sites as possible and to visit family and friends. He and the RV finally both became disabled and he settled in Colorado Springs, CO near his youngest daughter, Carol and her husband, Gary.
Carol and Gary have been devoted to our father, Paula and I, as well as grandchildren and friends and relatives have seen and appreciated their kindness, caring, and interactions to make his last years interesting and interactive with others as his aging process took his ability to travel in his beloved RV.
He requested a Green Burial in a simple beetle-kill Pine box with a bamboo shroud so that he could become part of his beloved earth again upon his death.
The whole family joins together in saying Thank You to Gary Morrell for graciously handling this part of his end of life as he has also handled seeing Wayne daily and being his advocate, son in law, and friend.
Services are under the direction of Return to Nature Funeral Home Colorado Springs, Colorado www.returntonaturecolorado.com