Wayne Michael Harless
November 5, 1945 – March 2, 2021
Wayne Michael Harless, 75, rested in everlasting peace on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Wayne was born on November 5, 1945, in Hondo, Texas, to Oliver “O.B.” Harless and Inez T. Harless (Rihn). He was the first child and only son next to his younger sister.
Visitation: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Saturday, March 20 at JE Foust and Son Funeral Chapel. A Celebration of Life funeral service will be held: 2:00 PM Saturday, March 20 at the historic JE Foust and Son Funeral Chapel in downtown Grapevine. 523 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051. No burial. Chinese lantern release at funeral home and then reception to immediately follow at Farina’s Winery & Café across the street 420 S. Main St. Grapevine, TX 76051. Food, drinks, entertainment will be provided. Wayne grew up with his Mom, Dad and sister Beverly “Wave”. He also spent a lot of time with his Rihn (his mother’s side of family) extended family around Alsatians towns of LaCoste and Castroville, Texas and for a short time lived around his father’s side of the family in Farmersville and Weatherford, TX before moving to Oak Cliff, TX around age 5 years. He was particularly close with his Uncle Clayton Murphy (who later became his best man at his wedding), his Uncle Denis Rihn and his Great Grandpa Rihn on his mother’s side. And of course with his sister Beverly “Wave”, her partner Jimmie and his nephews Sean and Trevor. His mother’s side of the family were Alsatian (French German) who still to this day speak, eat and live like the Alsatians of their ancestors. His mom’s family were some of the first Founders of the Alsatian Lacoste/Castroville communities where again to this day, you can visit the Alsatian meat markets, bakeries and over 100 year old Catholic Church that many of my father’s ancestors were baptized, married and buried over the many years. Wayne’s family still gets together for family reunions every year at the church with usually over 100 family attend. His beloved grandfather Bernard Rihn owned a family beer joint (that used to be the old grocery store and has been passed down to family members over the years who still own it today) and is dated over 100 years old. Wayne enjoyed going there and eating any candy or sodas he wanted for free as a kid and later playing billiards with his friends and family at his Grandpa’s place. One of his proudest moments was bringing his Delta motorcycle riding buddies down to visit his Grandpa at his beer joint. It was a family place where all the many children and relatives played and generations grew up around, including Wayne’s children. He never forgot his family in that area and often would bring his immediate Dallas family down for many reunions and holidays throughout the many years. On his father’s Harless side, his Grandpa Harless’ family were among the first Founders of Collin County.
Wayne attended St. Cecilia’s Catholic School, then attended Kimball High School in Oak Cliff from age 5-15 1/2 yrs. He started out helping his father who owned his own paint contractor business. The family then moved back to LaCoste where his large, extended Rihn family lived. He attended Medina Valley High School and was voted Most Handsome, Most Popular and Salutatorian of his class. Although he played off the latter, as he said it was a small school and he was more into cars than books at the time. He met best friends Butch Heap and Phillip Brant, which they remained friends throughout their lifetime. Wayne met his beloved, love of his life wife, Joyce “Evette” Harless when they were teenagers at Sammy’s drive in restaurant in Castroville, TX, which is still there today. They married in 1964, had their first born, Ty Anthony Harless, who was born in San Antonio in 1965. They lived on my mom’s parents’ farm in Devine, TX for a short while and then not long after moved to San Antonio where Wayne got a job as a mechanic for a big diesel company. After living in San Antonio for a few years, they moved to Oak Cliff around Dallas, TX a few short years later. He was ready to get back to what he considered his “hometown”. Wayne got on with Delta Airlines as a frontline agent and they moved from Oak Cliff to East Dallas onto Lockhart Street where upon they their second child, Britt Aubrey Harless, born in Dallas, TX in 1970. The family then moved to Mesquite, Texas around 1983. Wayne lived there for almost 30 years.
Wayne had a passion to work for the airlines, as his father worked on airplanes in the service and Wayne always had a fascination with planes and traveling. Took him 3 tries to finally get hired onto Delta (as it was competitive in those days) as a frontline agent—he was determined! He started working for Delta Airlines in April of 1970, 5 months before his daughter was born. Before DFW was built Delta was based at Lovefield Airport, then around 1974 they moved over to DFW Airport, where he worked for the rest of his career life. He loved working for Delta and loved his Delta Airlines family for the rest of his life—more than words can say. He never stopped telling of all the great and CRAZY stories about his Delta days, all of our travels together with the family and friends and he never stopped loving all the “good boys and gals” at Delta Airlines! They were all deeply inside his heart for the rest of his life. He always said he was such a lucky man to have worked with Delta and his Delta family. He loved the fact that he has a brick with his name at the Delta Airline Museum in Atlanta that will be there for always. He worked for them for 34 years, until retiring in 2004.
His beloved wife past away in 2003. They were married for 39 years. He was deeply affected by her loss, often spoke lovingly of her and kept her photos near him everywhere he went. He always said he married the most beautiful woman in the world! In 2011 after his stroke, he moved in with his daughter in Flower Mound. Then finally moving into this last home (and living there for over the past 5 years) that was situated on the next cul de sac over from his daughter’s house in Flower Mound so that he could spend a lot more time together with her and his grandson. He also enjoyed spending time with his previous caregiver Eileen Morris then with his part-time caregiver Rhonda Watkins and her husband Kevin who became like family members over the years. Wayne was blessed with two dearly beloved grandsons Easton Douglas Schulte born 11-8-1993 and Blake Tyler Harless born in 1-8-1999 whom he adored, was very proud of and “loved to pieces”.
Some of Wayne’s hobbies and attributes included fixing up hot rod cars, drag racing, playing harmonica to blues/boogie woogie & KNON, snow skiing, snorkeling, traveling- especially to Bahamas and Utah in which he took his family several times, riding motorcycles with his Detla Airline buddies, hanging out at the lake with his family, particularly White Rock and Grapevine Lakes, visiting family around San Antonio, racing slot cars, he was a ferocious reader, an intellectual hidden under a good ‘ol Southern boy persona, loved comedy movies and shows, always had a fascination with history and airplanes, loved technology and having the latest gadgets, sailing, watching sunsets-especially with his wife, he was a great photographer, enjoyed storytelling about race days, LaCoste, Oak Cliff and Delta days, hats, wearing black, wearing Hawaiian shirts, funny graphic tees, crossword puzzles, creating abstract art, hot sunny days, playing chess, dominoes and poker, anything Rat Pack and James Bond related, watching and attending car racing shows (and drag racing himself in earlier days), Dale Earnhardt, playing billiards, loved Mexican food- especially enchiladas, was a proud Texan. He loved hanging out with his immediate and extended family as well as his car racing friends, childhood friends and his Delta Airlines family. He loved being outside and as he got older, liked to sit on his patio or out with his grandson and daughter at his favorite local Mexican restaurant patio and talk about all kinds of stories hilarious stories, he completed crossword puzzles daily, read the newspaper daily. He was a character—a great storyteller, always had funny clichés and sayings, loved to laugh and smile and like to get and gave great hugs. Fun and fun loving. Many of his Delta Air family all say the same thing—he was friendly to all—he did not a prejudice bone in his body-first to greet the newcomers, treated everyone equally, humorous, helpful, loved to laugh and smile are all comments made from many throughout his life.
His first love was cars and motorcycles—building them up mechanically, racing them and enjoying them. Wayne knew a lot about cars and his dad O.B. taught him the rest. His first ride was when he was 14 with his Sears Allstate mortorcycle he drove to school daily. Then his first car at age 16 was a ’53 green and yellow Chevy. He later went on to own several cars. To name a few, a ’66 maroon Chevelle that he loved rebuilt into a hot rod, a treasured ’64 baby blue Corvette Stingray, one of his favs a ’57 Chevy rebuilt hot rod truck “Black Betty”, ’72 Corvette Stingray, two El Caminos and several other cars in his lifetime. He also owned a 1980 Hondo street motorcycle that he rode with his Delta Airline friends… and he also owned several dirt bikes that he and his son would ride a lot together. He loved to hang out at his good friend Barry Stone’s body shop in East Dallas and have fun while they worked/lived/breathed cars. Barry helped him a lot in his car endeavors and they participated in overall fun hijinks together! He enjoyed hanging out and being a part of the pit crew and attending various races with their friends that owned and raced a funny car called “Udder Nonsense”. Wayne loved hearing the roar of loud engines and the smell of exhausts for all of his life!
Wayne was a one of a kind good man, good provider, he had a huge heart, loved his friends and family above all else. He was helpful to many, did not hold any prejudices—treated all equally, peace loving, very smart, artistic and charismatic. Although very outgoing, he did not seek attention but loved to be an integral part of a family or group of close friends and help when he could, when needed. Most of all he loved to be happy, smile and laugh even when at times he felt deep sorrow inside. He was one of a kind and rare. He suffered a lot of loss with the closest people he loved at an early age (starting with friends then relatives), etc. but always tried to keep a smile on his face and still remain full of love. He was fun loving, peaceful, ultra-charismatic, smart, mechanically and creatively talented, friendly, humorous, proud of being a Texan, humorous, always smiling/laughing,a supporter (a great safety net!) and helper, accepting, forgiving, giving—loved to help others and give when possible, sentimental. He will be very deeply missed and forever loved. Wayne is predeceased by his beloved, love of his life, Joyce “Evette” (Schroeter) Harless, precious grandson Blake Tyler Harless, his parents Oliver O.B. Harless and Inez T. Harless (Rihn), mother and father in law The Schroeters, grandparents Bernard and Mary (Hutzler) Rihn, Alton Byron “A.B.” Harless and Minnie (Conger), several uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Surviving relatives are his son Ty Anthony Harless, daughter in law Shelly of Rockwall, TX, daughter Britt Aubrey Harless, son in law Can “John” of The Netherlands and adored grandson, Easton Douglas Schulte. Wayne also leaves to cherish his memories with his devoted sister, Beverly “Wave” Harless, wife Jimmie Whitley of Lakehills, TX, nephews Sean Morgan, wife Georgia of Lakehills, TX, Trevor Morgan, wife Karen, daughter Natalie of Lakehills, TX, his Rihn/Alsatian family of three aunts, numerous cousins and many dear Delta Airlines, racing and childhood friends.
“I tell you what, laissez les bon temps rouler"
If you wish to send flowers in honor of Mr. Harless, please contact Lilium Floral Design at 817-589-1566 or http://www.liliumflorals.com.
Wayne Michael Harless
March 18, 2021
Wayne , after our time together at Delta, became one of my best friends We enjoyed motorcycle trips. As I live in Tennessee we would spend hours on the phone sharing stories and experiences. A trip to see Wayne whenever I came to Texas was a must. One of my best memories was when mutual close friend, Ike turner, my wife and I spent a very enjoyable evening on his 'tropical' themed patio sharing stories.
Wayne, R.I.P. & H...Rest In Peace & Happiness!
Blessings also to Britt, who must be one of the best daughters a father could have. Britt thank you for your devotion to your father.