Richmond, Ind. – Wayne Estel Vincent, age 85, of Richmond, Indiana, died Sunday, December 17, 2017, at Friends Fellowship Community.
Born May 15, 1932, in Amboy, Indiana, to Laurel and Helen Gordon Vincent, Wayne was raised on a farm in southern Miami County near Amboy, Indiana. At an early age, he became interested in music. Wayne became sufficiently skilled on the piano to be appointed as the church pianist for Amboy Friends Church as an eighth grader. During his high school years, involvement in gardening and varsity athletics stimulated life-long interests in both areas. Wayne continued as church pianist until graduating from Clay Township High School in 1950. He left the farm to attend Earlham College.
Wayne graduated from Earlham College in 1954 having majored in Music Education and Organ. Two years in the U.S. Army followed graduation from Earlham. Serving in Germany for most of this period, he was influenced by several of his army buddies to consider business as a career. After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1956, Wayne chose to return to Richmond seeking a business career. He became affiliated with Equitable Life Assurance Society in 1956. Wayne’s interest in professionalism and education provided the incentive to complete a rigorous five year Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) study program. His CLU designation was awarded in 1967. In the same year, Wayne became a general agent for American United Life (AUL). He was honored for fifty years of service to AUL in 2017.
Opportunities in employee benefit programs led to the formation of Planned Benefit Services (PBS) in 1973. PBS grew to become one of Eastern Indiana’s largest companies specializing in employee benefits.
Wayne’s wife, Jane, and their family lived at South of Elkhorn Farm beginning in 1967. Following planning and overseeing the restoration of the 1835 farm home, Wayne meticulously created magnificent floral gardens and grounds. His flower beds spread across selected acres surrounding their farm home. Wayne and Jane opened their property to local groups who utilized garden tours to benefit local organizations.
Wayne’s hobbies and interests included landscape architecture and gardening, attending fine arts events and performances, collecting contemporary art, and attending sporting events. He was a loyal fan of Richmond High School (50 year season ticket holder), Earlham College, Indiana University, Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis Colts, and Chicago White Sox.
Wayne was dedicated to the Richmond community and the state of Indiana. Many organizations benefitted from Wayne’s service and leadership: Director of Music, organist at Trinity Lutheran Church and First English Lutheran Church (17 years), Musical Arts Society of Eastern Indiana, Richmond Art Museum, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Musical Arts Society of Eastern Indiana, United Way of Wayne County, Heritage Restorations, Council of Earlham College Alumni Association, Earlham College President’s Circle, Earlham College Board of Visitors, Townsend Community Center, I.U. East Board of Advisors, Starr-Gennett Foundation Inc., Civic Hall Associates, YWCA, YMCA, Reid Hospital Foundation, Wayne County Foundation, Wayne County Arts Consortium, Wayne Bank and Trust, Indiana Arts Commission (appointed by Governor Orr), Trustee of Josef Gingold Fund, Indiana Advisory Board of Beethoven Foundation, Society of 600, Cathedral Arts Inc. (International Violin Competition of Indianapolis), Contemporary Arts Society, Friends of Music (I.U. School of Music), Herron School of Art, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indiana Association of Life Underwriters, United Way of Indiana, and Historic Landmarks of Indiana.
Wayne received numerous prestigious awards: Richmond Symphony Orchestra Outstanding Service Recognition (1981), Leadership Wayne County Outstanding Leadership Award (1987), Sagamore of the Wabash presented by Governor Orr (1988), Sagamore of the Wabash presented by Governor Bayh (1989), Inducted into the Wayne County Business Hall of Fame (1994), Earlham College Distinguished Alumni Award (1996), Jefferson Award-Indianapolis Star-Outstanding Community Volunteer (1997), and Chancellor’s Medallion Award from I.U. East (1998).
Survivors include his wife, Jane Youngflesh Vincent, to whom he was married on October 19, 1958; children, Sarah (Don) Braxton of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Michael (Jennifer) Vincent of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Rachel (Joe) Etherington of Richmond, and Jeremy (Kim) Vincent of Richmond; Vietnamese refugee adult children, Hai (Ellie) Tran and An (Bouavanh) Tran, both of Richmond; grandchildren, Sam (Glynis) Braxton and Grace Braxton, Laurel, Virginia, and Johanna Vincent, Esther Etherington, and Lily and Henry Vincent; and Serbian international student, Alex Topalovic.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Laurel and Helen Vincent; sister, Beverly Overman; two brothers, Wendell and Murray Vincent; and grandson, Theodore Braxton.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff and nurses of Friends Fellowship Community Courtyards for the compassion and care they provided to Wayne and family members.
Memorial visitation for Wayne Estel Vincent will be from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 30, 2017, at First English Lutheran Church, 2727 East Main Street, Richmond. Memorial service will follow at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 30, 2017, at First English Lutheran Church with Pastor John Walker and Pastor Chip Belanga officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Wayne County Honor Guard. Inurnment will be in the First English Lutheran Church Columbarium. Arrangements are being handled by Doan & Mills Funeral Home, 790 National Road West, Richmond
Memorial contributions may be made to: Richmond Art Museum, P.O. Box 816, Richmond, IN 47375 or Richmond Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 982, Richmond, IN 47375.
Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at www.doanmillsfuneralhome.com.