Friday, March 8
2-4 PM and 6-8 PM
March 9 at 11 AM
Chapel Fund at Cascade Christian Church
Wayne John Cookingham, age 89, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2019. Wayne was born April 8, 1929, in Cascade, Michigan and was a life long resident of the Grand Rapids area. He attended Lowell High School where he met his high school sweetheart and future wife, Nancy Jean Taggert. Wayne graduated from Lowell High School in 1947. They were married on January 7, 1950. He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 happy years, Nancy; parents, Corry and Daphna; sister, June (Louis) Paap; brothers, Corry (Janet) and Lawrence (Avis); in-laws, Raymond and Ann Taggert; sister-in-law, Violet Taggert; brother-in-law, Edward Norton. Wayne is survived by his daughter, Terri Ann (William) Willyard; their children, Amanda (Ryan) Jenison; and their sons, Logan and Aiden Jenison; Brent (Jennelyn) Willyard; and Hayley (Dan Walsh) Willyard and her sons, Isaac and Tucker Wszolek. He is also survived by sister, Doris Norton; brother-in-law, William (Mary) Taggert; and many nieces and nephews. Wayne attended Cascade Christian Church while growing up and became a member on April 20, 1941, where he served as both a deacon and elder. Wayne enlisted in the Army in March 1952 for the Korean War. He also served as occupation forces in Germany from September 1952 to February 1954 where Nancy joined him for three months. Wayne was a lifetime member of Ada Lodge #280 and a past master of that lodge. Ada Lodge merged with Doric Lodge in Grand Rapids which therefore made him a lifetime member of Doric Lodge as well. Wayne was also a member of the Saladin Shrine, along with his father and father-in-law, Raymond Taggert. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post in Cascade. Wayne worked in construction for several years before going to work for the City of Grand Rapids Assessors Office. He took several courses in real estate through the University of Michigan extension service during that time. He was a member of the West Michigan Chapter of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers and served as president of that organization for one year. Wayne was hired by the local office of HUD/FHA in June 1968 and through promotions, etc., he became Director of the Housing Development Division in Grand Rapids prior to his retirement. He retired in October 1991 and had many good times with his wife vacationing and traveling in many places outside the U.S. and in southern locations within the U.S. Visitation will be Friday, March 8 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 11 AM at Cascade Christian Church Chapel, 2829 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Rev. Jill Forton officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chapel Fund at Cascade Christian Church.