Sandy Springs Chapel

136 Mt Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, GA


Wayne Monroe Drye

August 12, 1941May 5, 2020

Wayne Drye, age 78, of Atlanta, Georgia passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 5, 2020 from complications of COVID-19.

Born in the small town of Oakboro, North Carolina, Wayne Monroe Drye lived an extraordinary life guided by the philosophy “Come Grow Old With Me… The Best Is Yet To Be.” He passed away peacefully on May 5, 2020 after a month-long hospitalization as a result of COVID-19 virus.

Wayne Monroe Drye was born August 12, 1941 to the late Raymond Monroe Drye & Agatha Louise Hatley Drye of Oakboro, NC. He was the grandson of the late Duke Davis Drye & Mary Ellen Shue Drye of Cabarrus County, NC and C. A. Hatley & Eva Ann Almond Hatley of Oakboro, NC.

Wayne was born an Entrepreneur. As an elementary student, he opened a car wash business at the local gas station recruiting his classmates to run the business as he worked on expansion. Later in high school he opened a shoe-shine business to raise funds for college and his love of cars. Wayne graduated from Oakboro High School, where he lettered in basketball and was selected as the Most Likely to Succeed superlative. He graduated from Wingate University, Wingate, NC with an accounting degree in 1962, and was later named a Distinguished Alumni Recipient in 1989.

In spring of 1961, Wayne met Mary Eda McCollum from Monroe, NC and they were married in August of 1966. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Wayne’s “second home” of Hawaii, along with the entire family. They welcomed their sons John Monroe Drye in 1969 and Richard Monroe Drye in 1974.

Following college, Wayne served in the United States Army Reserves and began his insurance career with Combined Insurance Company of America. Wayne quickly rose through the ranks of Combined under the guidance of W. Clement Stone, and was promoted to Executive Vice-President over the Southeast United States, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.

In 1992, Wayne founded his own company, World Insurance Association, Inc. For 28 years, Wayne served as the President and CEO of WIA and grew the organization to serve clients in all 50 states in the US and abroad.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “to be remembered you should either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Wayne’s life fell squarely in the latter statement. His positive influence as a husband, father, mentor, businessman, and consummate professional was profoundly felt from his early days as a door-to-door salesman, to the last day he worked as the President and CEO of his own company.

Wayne was the kind of person you couldn’t help but want to know better. If you were to follow him throughout the course of a day, you would be in awe at how he treated every single person he came in contact with. He considered everyone to be a friend, no matter how he met you, because it was these connections that mattered most to him.

His Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) was a character trait that you couldn’t separate from him, any more than you could change his eyes from blue to brown. All of his favorite quotes were not just words to him, he lived each day by exemplifying them in his every encounter. And if you knew Wayne for even a short time, you surely heard him say things like: • I feel Healthy! I feel Happy! I feel Terrific! • You are a mind with a body, not a body with a mind. • Success is achieved by those who try and keep trying with a positive mental attitude.

Wayne was that biblical “light on a hill” to all who had the great privilege of knowing him. Matthew 5:16 describes Wayne’s life and legacy perfectly: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

He was and will always be ‘Our Light’ as a husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. He truly left this world a better place than he found it.

We will forever celebrate Wayne by living our lives as he exemplified daily to each of us. There can be no greater honor than to live by the legacy that he left behind. Though we would have chosen to continue to grow older with him throughout our lives, we will certainly believe that “the best is yet to be.”

Wayne is survived by his wife Mary McCollum Drye, sons John Monroe Drye and wife Rhonda, Richard Monroe Drye and wife Tracy, and beloved grandchildren Sydney, Austin, William and Madison Drye. He is survived by one sister Barbara Drye Whitley and husband Christopher of Albemarle, NC. Wayne also had a special bond with all of his nieces and nephews.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 Pandemic, a graveside memorial for immediate family only will be held Monday May 11th, 2020 at Arlington Memorial.

In lieu of flowers, the family is inviting friends to support Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Please visit WayneDrye.com for more information.


  • Graveside Service

    Monday, May 11, 2020


Wayne Monroe Drye

have a memory or condolence to add?

Maame Twum

May 14, 2020

It’s so hard to find the right words to write at a time like this. I hope that so many thoughts and prayers you are receiving will help to ease your pain. I am here, always, if you need me. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I can only hope that time will bring you comfort and help to heal your sorrow. May you find strength in the love all around you and comfort in all the wonderful memories. He was a “light” to us and Will fondly be missed. Our condolences to your entire family.

Publix Pharmacy @ Hammond Drive ( Maame ( Pharmacist) and Kwame Asare ( Pharmacy Tech)

Monica Dean

May 12, 2020

Wayne was a truly exceptional person. His positive energy was felt by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. I will miss seeing his friendly smile and kind words. My thoughts and prayers to everyone in the Drye family. God Bless.

Stephanie Maurer

May 12, 2020

Sending prayers to the Drye's and WIA family. Wayne was one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I have ever met. Wayne and the Drye's have been such an important part of our lives. I will never forget Wayne's kindness when I worked at WIA during college and when he drove from Atlanta to my wedding here in Chattanooga, it meant so much to my mom and me. Wayne had such a positive outlook on life and we will always remember him.

Stephanie, TJ, and Elin.

Iris Still

May 12, 2020

My sincerest sympathy to Wayne’s family!

I just learned of the passing of Wayne! I didn’t know him very well, but I knew him enough by seeing him everyday at the King building where I work! Always a great smile and a kind word! I felt like He was my daddy telling me good morning or good afternoon. We would cross in parking lot or in the building and it was always a joy, I knew He was a man of God!

He will be missed and know I will be thinking and praying for the family!

Carol Ann Kilburn

May 10, 2020

Wayne was a very dear person. He always had a big smile on his face and immediately let you know he was glad to see you. He also listened intently to what you were saying and made suitable comments. My husband, Jim, and I are heart-broken that we will never see him again. He certainly fulfilled his wish to be a shining light in the world. We love you, Wayne. Rest In Peace.
Carol Ann & Jim Kilburn

Skip Woodfin

May 9, 2020

What a wonderful man. We had many wonderful and interesting conversations together. I will miss that. Love and prayers to the family. Praise to God for allowing me to meet Wayne. Aloha, Pastor skip Woodfin, Koolau Baptist Church, Kaneohe, Hawaii.

katherine williams

May 9, 2020

Hollis and I have had the pleasure of knowing Wayne since 1971 from the old Combined Insurance Company. When I think of Wayne, his warm smile comes to my mind. It lights up his whole face and you know a wonderful caring person goes with that magnificent smile. Mary, John, Rich, Rhonda, and Tracy our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Larry Johnston

May 9, 2020

Wayne was a dear friend and mentor. He plzyed a very important part in my career with Combined Ins. Co. I loved and respected him . He always had my best interest at heart. My sympathy and prayers to the entire family.

Carolyn and Mark Hinson

May 9, 2020

Please accept our sincere sympathy and prayers and love for all of you. We will always remember him.

Michael Bryan

May 9, 2020

Mr. Wayne’s ready smile greeted us every time we’d see him. His warmth drew you in. In each interaction, he made you feel important; listening intently and invariably offering a quip, a terrible joke, and often a word of advice; wisdom with a clever delivery which he carried around like candies in his pocket and doled out readily to us leaning in to receive.
You’re adored, Mr. Wayne, and we’ll have have you with us always. Michael and Sara Bryan


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